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General => General Music Discussion => Topic started by: Quadrochosis on October 31, 2009, 10:15:18 PM

Title: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on October 31, 2009, 10:15:18 PM
Because we don't have one, and if anyone does deserve one, it's Neal Morse.

Everything this man is apart of is amazing.

What are your thoughts on NM?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ehra on October 31, 2009, 10:15:54 PM
What are your thoughts on NM?

Big fan.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: reneranucci on October 31, 2009, 10:19:24 PM
What are your thoughts on NM?
That he is the most talented musician I´ve ever heard. That I love every single second of his music. That the melodies he creates are as beatiful as contemplating the sunset holding the hand of your loved one. And that he seems to be a really nice guy, and I would love to meet him.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on October 31, 2009, 10:21:00 PM
What are your thoughts on NM?
That he is the most talented musician I´ve ever heard. That I love every single second of his music. That the melodies he creates are as beatiful as contemplating the sunset holding the hand of your loved one. And that he seems to be a really nice guy, and I would love to meet him.

Haha, can't disagree with any of this.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 31, 2009, 10:22:56 PM
Definitely a fan.  Love his voice (not technically a great singer, but I love his natural singing voice), and I actually think acoustic guitar might be his best instrument, although he is a damn good keyboard player.

Favorite albums that he has been a big part of are SMPTe, Bridge Across Forever, ?, V, Snow, The Light and Testimony.  Still too early to put The Whirlwind in there, but you never know.

Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on October 31, 2009, 10:25:11 PM
Definitely a fan.  Love his voice (not technically a great singer, but I love his natural singing voice), and I actually think acoustic guitar might be his best instrument, although he is a damn good keyboard player.

Favorite albums that he has been a big part of are SMPTe, Bridge Across Forever, ?, V, Snow, The Light and Testimony.  Still too early to put The Whirlwind in there, but you never know.

Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.

No love for Sola Scriptura or The Kindness of Strangers? Those two with ? are my three favorite NM/SB albums.

EDIT: We should do a top musicians thread.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: glaurung on October 31, 2009, 10:26:31 PM

Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.


If it would be as interesting as your top PT or Rush lists were I would like to see you do this one too.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 31, 2009, 10:30:08 PM
No love for Sola Scriptura or The Kindness of Strangers? Those two with ? are my three favorite NM/SB albums.

I like The Kindness of Strangers quite a bit, but that would be in my second tier of SB albums.  In fact, it is probably my 5th favorite of the Neal-era SB albums.  "Flow," "Harm's Way" and "June" are three of my favorite SB songs, for sure, though. :)

Not overall wild about Sola Scriptura.  It has its moments, but overall, I find it to be very lacking.  All three epics have some fabulous parts, as well as some parts I can do without.  "Heaven in My Heart" is very blech (and I usually like his mellow songs).


Honestly, if I had to list my all-time favorite musicians, he would definitely be top 20.  Not top 10 like he would have been seven or eight years ago, but still top 20.


If it would be as interesting as your top PT or Rush lists were I would like to see you do this one too.

Oh man, that would be tough to compile that.  Might be worth a try, however...;)  I would probably shoot for a top 20 or 25, not 50, however.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: JoeBob on October 31, 2009, 10:48:37 PM
Amazing singer, songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist, I love everything the man has done, Transatlantic probably being my favorite band he's been in.  Spock's Beard and his prog solo work are also amazing though.  The man can do it all.

Bridge Across Forever, Snow and Sola Scriptura are my favorite albums that he's been a part of.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on October 31, 2009, 10:50:47 PM
? is pure masterpiece and SS is not far behind it....great voice and seems like a humble guy
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: rumborak on October 31, 2009, 11:29:50 PM
Phenomenal musician, with an incredibly unique style. I used to be a huge, huge fan of his, up to (and including) his first solo album. After that I slowly lost interest as he was getting less and less interesting in musical exploration, and the lyrics' purpose became proselytizing.

rumborak
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on November 01, 2009, 12:29:12 AM
Probably my favorite individual modern musician.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on November 01, 2009, 08:24:55 AM
Probably my favorite individual modern musician.
I can go along with that.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: pogoowner on November 01, 2009, 10:06:22 AM
I'm a big fan. I enjoy SB more than his solo work, but he's still showing some incredible talent with his new material.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on November 01, 2009, 10:19:37 AM
Amazing musician, with of course his masterpiece solo work as well as SB and Transatlantic.

Oh and

(http://faemir.co.uk/nm.jpg)

 ;D

But yeah, i've met him twice now, and he's such a down-to-earth guy it's really touching, he's a pleasure to just be around.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Zydar on November 01, 2009, 10:38:23 AM
I've never heard his music aside from some of the Transatlantic songs. After watching the Whirlwind bonus DVD I kind of got a good glimpse into this guy. I'm listening to the first track off Sola Scriptura now on Spotify. I'm not a fan of "preachery" lyrics so I hope he keeps it on a down low, knowing he is a Christian.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on November 01, 2009, 10:48:49 AM
I've never heard his music aside from some of the Transatlantic songs. After watching the Whirlwind bonus DVD I kind of got a good glimpse into this guy. I'm listening to the first track off Sola Scriptura now on Spotify. I'm not a fan of "preachery" lyrics so I hope he keeps it on a down low, knowing he is a Christian.

SS is the least preachy album of his solo stuff. And if you can't listen to that, then go get Snow by Spock's Beard :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on November 01, 2009, 11:04:53 AM
I've never heard his music aside from some of the Transatlantic songs. After watching the Whirlwind bonus DVD I kind of got a good glimpse into this guy. I'm listening to the first track off Sola Scriptura now on Spotify. I'm not a fan of "preachery" lyrics so I hope he keeps it on a down low, knowing he is a Christian.

Sola Scriptura isn't that preachery, it's actually a concept album about Martin Luther, and the Reformation.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 01, 2009, 11:12:36 AM
Ever since I discovered the world of modern prog rock (circa 2000-2001), I found out about Spock's Beard and Transatlantic (circa 2004), and absolutely feel in love with SB/TA and Neal in general. When I discovered that he had left both bands and started a solo career in Christian-oriented music, I was a bit adamant at first to explore his music, but gave Testimony and One a chance and was FLOORED by his ability to still create something fresh but still so undoubtedly Neal.

When ? came out, it was his first new release for me being a fan of his works, so I was excited, especially at the premise of it being a near hour-long song-cycle with many guest musicians! Again was I delighted at what I heard, and his lyrics didn't really bother me. His albums tend to be conceptual, so I see the lyrics as part of the concept, like in the way anyone would use Tolkien or Sci-Fi themes as a concept, Neal is using Christian themes and ideas as concepts (except when he gets preachy, but many of those songs are so good musically that I can over-look the lyrics, or in the case of things like "King Jesus" or "Heaven In My Heart", end up LIKING the lyrics).

The man's consistently good output (IMO) is a true testament to his abilities, at composing and arranging! He has only gotten better over time, but even his early stuff with SB is just fantastic (things like "The Light", "The Doorway", "The Water", "Flow", and pretty much any of his long-form songs with SB, particularly "The Great Nothing").

Sure it's easy to criticize the man for recycling ideas, everyone's heard them ("Long Time Suffering" in Sola Scriptura, part of the ? album reminds of a song from one of his first two solo albums NM/It's Not Too Late... and the sometimes-obligatory Spanish-guitar-flavored flamenco-type section that is in many of his albums)... but I feel like I can just attribute all of that to it being HIS style, HIS voice, HIS form. It's what makes his music undeniably Neal, and I enjoy that about him. He puts his heart and soul into anything and everything he does with music, and it's that power in him that makes me appreciate what he does even more so.

With the release of The Whirlwind, I've heard some of his best playing and singing in ages, and it shows that he's still getting better! And I wonder how being with TA again will affect his next solo album, and if he'll carry over anything from those sessions into his next solo album, in terms of arranging and composing. Guess we'll just have to wait and see... until then, I can't wait for the inevitable Transatlantic 2010 tour!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: sirbradford117 on November 01, 2009, 11:29:27 AM
Neal is my idol.  I admire him not only for his brilliant composing, but that he devotes himself to making music for the Greater Good... that's my goal in life too.

While I feel some of his more recent output sounds a bit stale, I adore him nonetheless.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on November 01, 2009, 03:29:50 PM
Love his work with Transatlantic, and some of Spock's Beard stuff as well.  I really like his voice for some reason; it's so not-flashy but conveys a ton of emotion.

Never heard any of his solo work, but I'm considering checking some of it out.  I don't have a problem with spiritual or Christian lyrics, but I detest them if they lack subtlety and are of the "hit-you-over-the-head" variety.  For this reason I can't help but falter at an album named directly after a 16th century doctrinal movement.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on November 01, 2009, 04:17:33 PM
Love his work with Transatlantic, and some of Spock's Beard stuff as well.  I really like his voice for some reason; it's so not-flashy but conveys a ton of emotion.

Never heard any of his solo work, but I'm considering checking some of it out.  I don't have a problem with spiritual or Christian lyrics, but I detest them if they lack subtlety and are of the "hit-you-over-the-head" variety.  For this reason I can't help but falter at an album named directly after a 16th century doctrinal movement.

-J

Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type or lacking any substance. They're great, and like M said, if you just take it as a concept, and not necessarily preachy then you can get a lot out of it.

It's like saying that I'm not going to listen to a LOTR inspired album because I'm not an elf, it's quite silly in my opinion.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 01, 2009, 06:29:18 PM
Love his work with Transatlantic, and some of Spock's Beard stuff as well.  I really like his voice for some reason; it's so not-flashy but conveys a ton of emotion.

Never heard any of his solo work, but I'm considering checking some of it out.  I don't have a problem with spiritual or Christian lyrics, but I detest them if they lack subtlety and are of the "hit-you-over-the-head" variety.  For this reason I can't help but falter at an album named directly after a 16th century doctrinal movement.

-J

Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type or lacking any substance. They're great, and like M said, if you just take it as a concept, and not necessarily preachy then you can get a lot out of it.

It's like saying that I'm not going to listen to a LOTR inspired album because I'm not an elf, it's quite silly in my opinion.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on November 01, 2009, 06:49:20 PM
I am a fanboy, I must admit. After DT, Neal Morse is my favorite artist by a long shot. He is just. . .incredible. To be able to even worship to prog rock. . .that is awesome.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 01, 2009, 07:04:57 PM
Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type  

Eh, I disagree.  If you are not religious, many of his lyrics WILL come off as too preachy and WILL hit you over the head, if you ask me.  They generally do not bother me that much (although writing an album about a poor human being like Martin Luther was a bad decision), but I have seen enough non-religious peeps who are/were Neal fans say that the lyrics were too much for them.  Non-religious people simply do not want to hear about God and/or Jesus in every other song.

Of the albums he has done since leaving SB, ? is easily the least preachy and over the top.  Okay, there is the temple of the living God line, but most of the album sounds very spiritual without sounding like too much.  Jesus is only mentioned once on the entire record (and that is in a spoken word section underneath a bass solo in "Solid as the Sun").

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on November 01, 2009, 07:10:27 PM
Trust me they aren't "hit-you-over-the-head" type 

Eh, I disagree.  If you are not religious, many of his lyrics WILL come off as too preachy and WILL hit you over the head, if you ask me.  They generally do not bother me that much (although writing an album about a poor human being like Martin Luther was a bad decision), but I have seen enough non-religious peeps who are/were Neal fans say that the lyrics were too much for them.  Non-religious people simply do not want to hear about God and/or Jesus in every other song.

Of the albums he has done since leaving SB, ? is easily the least preachy and over the top.  Okay, there is the temple of the living God line, but most of the album sounds very spiritual without sounding like too much.  Jesus is only mentioned once on the entire record (and that is in a spoken word section underneath a bass solo in "Solid as the Sun").

I'm not religious in the slightest, and the lyrics do not bother me at all. Like I said, I take them at face value, like I do with any concept album. That is what I based that statement on, and it's the only thing I based it on, so that's why I wrote it.

Although I guess i can understand why someone might not like it for that reason.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: rumborak on November 01, 2009, 07:38:55 PM
Yeah, most of NM's late lyrics are very over-your-head, and I for example am someone who doesn't listen to him because of it.
The thing for me is, I have no problem if someone tells a Christian story in a song. So, I have no problem with SS, and I never had a problem with Snow (clearly a religious allegory) or many other SB songs that were clearly about God, but in an allusive way (the "Catfishman" etc.)
The line for me is when I feel the author is trying to manipulate me, and that impression I get with Neal's late lyrics. I mean, I understand that the very point of his lyrics is proletyzation, but the fact that he's straightforward with his intent still doesn't help that I feel manipulated.

rumborak
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 09, 2010, 03:37:50 PM
So I am sitting here watching Transatlantic's Live In America DVD and it got me wondering... "Hey, when is Neal going to start work on a new album again?"

Then I realized, he probably hasn't had much time to demo or write this year, being busy with solo shows and Transatlantic, so he'll probably take a well deserved end-of-summer break before beginning work on a new album, but I'm also sure he will want to wait to record it until Mike is free, but given Mike's schedule between now and the end of the year, that probably means he wouldn't want to bother him about recording a new album until next year, which most likely means no new Neal Morse album until summer/fall 2011 (a lengthy time since Lifeline... unless... he decides to make another album with Transatlantic.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: BRGM on August 09, 2010, 03:44:03 PM
Cool, didn't know there was Neal Morse thread! :O

Love most of his work! One, Sola Scriptura and Transatlantic...just love it!! And Testimony is pretty cool as well. Lifeline isn't bad either.
He's a very good music writer, maybe not as kickass at his instruments as DT, but the music is still very close to the same level IMO.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 09, 2010, 04:52:50 PM
So I am sitting here watching Transatlantic's Live In America DVD and it got me wondering... "Hey, when is Neal going to start work on a new album again?"

Then I realized, he probably hasn't had much time to demo or write this year, being busy with solo shows and Transatlantic, so he'll probably take a well deserved end-of-summer break before beginning work on a new album, but I'm also sure he will want to wait to record it until Mike is free, but given Mike's schedule between now and the end of the year, that probably means he wouldn't want to bother him about recording a new album until next year, which most likely means no new Neal Morse album until summer/fall 2011 (a lengthy time since Lifeline... unless... he decides to make another album with Transatlantic.

-Marc.

Well, he is releasing another worship album, according to an email I got from Radiant Records today. 

Yawn.  :lol :lol

Anyway, I say bring on another TA record...ASAP. :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on August 09, 2010, 10:15:23 PM
Well, he is releasing another worship album, according to an email I got from Radiant Records today. 

Yawn.  :lol :lol

Anyway, I say bring on another TA record...ASAP. :coolio

This.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on August 09, 2010, 10:17:46 PM
His first worship record was good. His others....meh. Except Cloudburst. That song is amazing.


By the way, I listened to So Many Roads on my daily walk around the neighborhood the other day. That song is fantastic. I really love Lifeline as an album. It feels fresh and clean and like a new start (not that the previous albums were bad by any means).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on August 09, 2010, 10:25:15 PM
Yea he clearly was not made to be a contemporary worship writer because most of his worship stuff sucks. He's more of a "Hey let's write epic prog epics about God!"
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on August 09, 2010, 10:32:02 PM
He definitely succeeds at that. :laugh:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: BRGM on August 10, 2010, 07:11:21 AM
Is it just Testimony, One and Sola Scriptura that features Mike Portnoy and that Randy George or w/e his name was?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on August 10, 2010, 07:24:09 AM
If I recall correctly, all the albums have Mike Portnoy on drums, and all but Testimony have Randy George on bass.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 10, 2010, 07:25:48 AM
Is it just Testimony, One and Sola Scriptura that features Mike Portnoy and that Randy George or w/e his name was?

Mike Portnoy is on all 5 of Neal's Post-Beard prog albums (Testimony, One, ?, Sola Scriptura, and Lifeline), as well as the covers compilation Cover To Cover. Randy George (bass) is featured on all of those albums as well with the exception of Testimony, which had Neal playing bass on that album.

However, Randy appeared with Neal on his tour for Testimony (along with Mike on drums), which probably ignited their working relationship and thus, he was brought in on the One sessions (Note: you can watch all three of them, plus 6 more amazing musicians, on the fantastic live DVD Testimony Live).

The three of them have also recorded a cover of King Crimson's "Starless", during the sessions for Lifeline, but was released through Neal's Inner Circle and not with the bonus covers found on the 2nd disc of the special edition.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on August 10, 2010, 03:15:38 PM
Regarding Neal's lyrics as "hit you over the head"-type lyrics:  Yeah, they definitely are.  Yes, they are often subtle and symbolic.  But the message is still very overt and in your face.  That doesn't bother me in the slightest, and despite the fact that he has some strange doctrinal messages at times, I really like that.  But nobody should pretend the message is anything but blatant. 

As far as Neal working on a solo album, it would not surprise me if Neal wrote the next one with Colin instead of Mike on drums.  No, I'm not aware of any direct plan to do so, and I'm not aware of any sort of rift between Neal and Mike.  It just makes sense to me that having toured with Colin for three album tours now, and having Colin serve as tour manager with TA, I could realistically see Neal making the decisio that Colin should be on the next studio album. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: BRGM on August 10, 2010, 03:16:12 PM
Okay, nice and interesting facts, Because I somewhat find One and especially Sola sciptura the bets albums by him, Nice with Gilbert on guitar instead of Neal  ::)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: aurorablind on August 10, 2010, 03:20:21 PM
Okay, nice and interesting facts, Because I somewhat find One and especially Sola sciptura the bets albums by him, Nice with Gilbert on guitar instead of Neal  ::)

Isn't he just playing some solos?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on August 10, 2010, 03:21:21 PM
Yes, mostly.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 10, 2010, 03:29:07 PM
Regarding Neal's lyrics as "hit you over the head"-type lyrics:  Yeah, they definitely are.  Yes, they are often subtle and symbolic.  But the message is still very overt and in your face.  That doesn't bother me in the slightest, and despite the fact that he has some strange doctrinal messages at times, I really like that.  But nobody should pretend the message is anything but blatant. 

As far as Neal working on a solo album, it would not surprise me if Neal wrote the next one with Colin instead of Mike on drums.  No, I'm not aware of any direct plan to do so, and I'm not aware of any sort of rift between Neal and Mike.  It just makes sense to me that having toured with Colin for three album tours now, and having Colin serve as tour manager with TA, I could realistically see Neal making the decisio that Colin should be on the next studio album. 

I could see that happening as well, and perhaps him recording with his live band on the next album instead of having Mike and Randy. Collin did record drums on a bonus track for the special edition of Lifeline, so it sort of sets a precedent for Neal to allow Collin (or really anyone from his live band) to be a part of his upcoming studio work.

I wouldn't mind it, I would still love it if he keeps recording with Mike and Randy, but Neal has always done what he's wanted and I won't care much either way - I'll STILL buy whatever he puts out!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: BRGM on August 10, 2010, 03:30:47 PM
Okay, nice and interesting facts, Because I somewhat find One and especially Sola sciptura the bets albums by him, Nice with Gilbert on guitar instead of Neal  ::)

Isn't he just playing some solos?


oh...But the guitar is still a lot better sounding than in One
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on August 11, 2010, 04:56:29 AM
As far as Neal working on a solo album, it would not surprise me if Neal wrote the next one with Colin instead of Mike on drums.  No, I'm not aware of any direct plan to do so, and I'm not aware of any sort of rift between Neal and Mike.  It just makes sense to me that having toured with Colin for three album tours now, and having Colin serve as tour manager with TA, I could realistically see Neal making the decisio that Colin should be on the next studio album. 

I don't know, it could really go either way, though all of this is totally possible and cool. However, to me, I would think he would keep that part of the studio albums recording process untouched, since he has done so many albums with Randy and Mike.

Collin did record drums on a bonus track for the special edition of Lifeline, so it sort of sets a precedent for Neal to allow Collin (or really anyone from his live band) to be a part of his upcoming studio work.

Paul Bielatowicz, the guitarist from the SSAB DVD, is also on Fly High (unless I am mistaken), and has been a huge help to Morse's live band. Hmm. Who knows? Either way, they're all great musicians and I'm sure good music will be made!


Fake Edit: Holy crap! I just saw the tracklisting for NM's new worship album on Wikipedia, and it appears to have a good handful of covers. Maybe they're all covers, I don't know...but all the covers that I do recognize are songs that I love. I'm going to get that for sure now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 11, 2010, 08:41:14 AM
Neal's music, whether with SB, TA or solo, is always much better when anyone but him plays lead electric guitar.  As great as Neal is on keys and acoustic guitar, he is a pretty average electric guitar player, and when he plays it, the difference in the quality of playing between the electric guitar and everything else stands out too much at times. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on August 11, 2010, 09:14:25 AM
I agree. He shines on the acoustic and keyboards.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Durg on August 11, 2010, 10:20:59 AM
Yep.  Big fan.  I own "One" and "Sola Scriptura".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 02, 2010, 10:58:42 AM
So with Mike out of DT, is it possible that Mike could do another TA or Neal Morse solo album very soon?

I look forward to whatever Mike and Neal may do in 2011. I think Neal likes to keep pretty busy (not as much as Mike, but almost as much), and last I heard, Neal's working on a book, so maybe after that, he'll reunite to record?

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on November 02, 2010, 11:02:21 AM
either would make me a happy man
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 02, 2010, 11:10:18 AM
either would make me a happy man

Oh me too! I think it lands largely on Roine and Pete if Mike and Neal want to do another TA record. AFAIK, Roine will likely be touring the "Power Of Two" show, or with just Agents Of Mercy next year, and Pete will have the Marillion Convention shows. I also think Marillion are working on their next album as well. And who knows what else Roine has cooking up in his studio.

I think maybe a Neal-solo record would be a good outlet for Neal, but I can't deny the possibility that doing another TA album so soon after The Whirlwind would do the album some great justice because, IMO, Bridge Across Forever was an AMAZING follow-up to the already fantastic SMPT:e.... so who knows.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 02, 2010, 12:20:57 PM
I think it is a given that if Neal does another solo album, Portnoy will be there to do the drums on it.

However, you have to wonder if the creative musical juices aren't flowing as much right now in Neal, without input from anyone else (like with TA). When you look at the bonus TA disc, Roine's two songs were new songs that were completely different from the main disc, while Neal's one song was basically a slight reworking of a melody from "The Whirlwind," so maybe he doesn't have as much new music on the brain all ready to go, if you know what I mean.  Roine's two songs basically came across to me as songs that probably would have ended up on a Flower Kings album if they were still an active band, while Neal didn't really come up with anything that new, which I would have thought he would have.  Just thinking out loud here...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 02, 2010, 12:34:17 PM
I think it is a given that if Neal does another solo album, Portnoy will be there to do the drums on it.

However, you have to wonder if the creative musical juices aren't flowing as much right now in Neal, without input from anyone else (like with TA). When you look at the bonus TA disc, Roine's two songs were new songs that were completely different from the main disc, while Neal's one song was basically a slight reworking of a melody from "The Whirlwind," so maybe he doesn't have as much new music on the brain all ready to go, if you know what I mean.  Roine's two songs basically came across to me as songs that probably would have ended up on a Flower Kings album if they were still an active band, while Neal didn't really come up with anything that new, which I would have thought he would have.  Just thinking out loud here...

I'm thinking "For Such A Time" was part of his original demos from "The Whirlwind", or part of the demos they made while writing the album? Perhaps it was a song left out of the original album and he wrote/expanded it into a full song for the bonus disc? Then again, you have to realize he had a 45-minute demo for "The Whirlwind" and less than half of that got used on the final album, so I am sure Neal has some demos laying around that haven't been used - melodies, chords, verses, choruses, etc.etc. that could be used on an album.

As for Roine, I think he probably writes very often when he's not busy recording or touring, so it's quite possible that he had those demos laying around, unused TFK session stuff or solo stuff, and decided they'd be good for TA.

If Neal doesn't have a lot of material to work with, I think teaming up with Roine and Pete would be a great option - what he has could be reworked by them and they could put in their demos as well and make another album. I think that'd be a more realistic possibility, and more well received, IMO. I'd rather see another Transatlantic album in 2011 than wait, til possibly 2012, for a Neal Morse solo album.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 02, 2010, 10:44:55 PM
Heads up to Neal Morse Fans here, in a week or two, I will pick up and continue the Neal Morse Survivor, over in the Polls/Survivors forum! Since Quadrochosis already did Testimony, I'll pick up where he left off and start with One, probably one of my favorite albums by Neal! I hope to see some of you guys there voting, especially since the albums from One on are all less than a dozen songs/tracks each, so voting should go by quickly (rather than the mammoth Testimony with it's 29 tracks).

I wonder how voting for Testimony would have gone had it been the 5 large parts instead of the 29 tracks... it definitely would've been a bit shorter, that's for sure! If there's any interest in doing that, I may consider it, but I will start with One as planned, then move chronologically up to Lifeline, then if there's interest in doing the 5 parts of Testimony, I'll do that.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on November 03, 2010, 07:01:32 AM
I own Testimony, as well as the Transatlantic stuff, and from what I can see, he is a very natural musician.  He's also crazy live.  :lol

There are some incredibly emotional moments on the Live version of Testimony.  The crowd really gets into it to.  Everyone's clapping and cheering after Wasted Life, and Neal's like, "All right, guys, this is just part one."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on November 03, 2010, 07:26:38 AM
I think it is a given that if Neal does another solo album, Portnoy will be there to do the drums on it.

However, you have to wonder if the creative musical juices aren't flowing as much right now in Neal, without input from anyone else (like with TA). When you look at the bonus TA disc, Roine's two songs were new songs that were completely different from the main disc, while Neal's one song was basically a slight reworking of a melody from "The Whirlwind," so maybe he doesn't have as much new music on the brain all ready to go, if you know what I mean.  Roine's two songs basically came across to me as songs that probably would have ended up on a Flower Kings album if they were still an active band, while Neal didn't really come up with anything that new, which I would have thought he would have.  Just thinking out loud here...

Yea, but he wrote the majority of the main piece. I don't think he's running out of ideas.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on November 03, 2010, 07:57:19 AM
I own Testimony, as well as the Transatlantic stuff, and from what I can see, he is a very natural musician.  He's also crazy live.  :lol

There are some incredibly emotional moments on the Live version of Testimony.  The crowd really gets into it to.  Everyone's clapping and cheering after Wasted Life, and Neal's like, "All right, guys, this is just part one."

Brother, I don't know if you've heard them or not, but get ahold of One and ? if you can.  Both are miles ahead of Testimony, IMO, which I consider one of his weakest releases.

And although I think I mentioned it before, I've really been digging Sola Scriptura over the past few weeks.  Despite the crappy lyrics, there is some great music on that album.  The solo at the end of The Door is totally unbelievable!  I know that isn't Morse; is that a Paul Gilbert solo?

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 03, 2010, 08:05:11 AM
I own Testimony, as well as the Transatlantic stuff, and from what I can see, he is a very natural musician.  He's also crazy live.  :lol

There are some incredibly emotional moments on the Live version of Testimony.  The crowd really gets into it to.  Everyone's clapping and cheering after Wasted Life, and Neal's like, "All right, guys, this is just part one."

Brother, I don't know if you've heard them or not, but get ahold of One and ? if you can.  Both are miles ahead of Testimony, IMO, which I consider one of his weakest releases.

And although I think I mentioned it before, I've really been digging Sola Scriptura over the past few weeks.  Despite the crappy lyrics, there is some great music on that album.  The solo at the end of The Door is totally unbelievable!  I know that isn't Morse; is that a Paul Gilbert solo?

-J

It is indeed Paul Gilbert! He does the lead guitar "The Door" and the opening solo in "The Conflict". He also contributed flamenco guitar in "Two Down, One To Go". I really hope Neal decides to have Paul on his next solo album again!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 03, 2010, 08:22:53 AM
I think it is a given that if Neal does another solo album, Portnoy will be there to do the drums on it.

However, you have to wonder if the creative musical juices aren't flowing as much right now in Neal, without input from anyone else (like with TA). When you look at the bonus TA disc, Roine's two songs were new songs that were completely different from the main disc, while Neal's one song was basically a slight reworking of a melody from "The Whirlwind," so maybe he doesn't have as much new music on the brain all ready to go, if you know what I mean.  Roine's two songs basically came across to me as songs that probably would have ended up on a Flower Kings album if they were still an active band, while Neal didn't really come up with anything that new, which I would have thought he would have.  Just thinking out loud here...

Yea, but he wrote the majority of the main piece.

No he didn't.  

Roine had said this last August:

Quote
As for writing, it's a fair mix - perhaps a few % more of Neal - but you get plenty of everyone's ideas and
lots of jamming went into the second part of that 77 min piece - some of it started from the power trio format
and Neal added stuff later - so it's a LOT of everyone - and I might add some
very cool stuff.

And then Portnoy said this last November:

Quote
Of Neal's original 45-minute "Whirlwind" demo, the only bits that made it to the final Transatlantic version are:
-- II. The Wind Blew Them All Away
-- III. On The Prowl
-- (the ending instrumental section of) XI. Is It Really Happening
-- XII. Dancing With Eternal Glory

Essentially, that's about 20 of 77 minutes....

Everything else stemmed from other demos that Roine & Pete brought in or evolved in the studio once we were all together....

So, Neal definitely did not write the majority of the main piece.  It truly was a collaborative effort, which is a big reason why, I think, it is so good. We got the best of all of them.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 03, 2010, 08:34:26 AM
And then Portnoy said this last November:

Quote
Of Neal's original 45-minute "Whirlwind" demo, the only bits that made it to the final Transatlantic version are:
-- II. The Wind Blew Them All Away
-- III. On The Prowl
-- (the ending instrumental section of) XI. Is It Really Happening
-- XII. Dancing With Eternal Glory

Essentially, that's about 20 of 77 minutes....

Everything else stemmed from other demos that Roine & Pete brought in or evolved in the studio once we were all together....

So, Neal definitely did not write the majority of the main piece.  It truly was a collaborative effort, which is a big reason why, I think, it is so good. We got the best of all of them.


That is correct, but if you watch the Making Of DVD, you'll know "Rose Colored Glasses" was pretty much entirely Neal's song too, but not necessarily part of "The Whirlwind" as Neal demoed it, so that's another 8 minutes of music or so. Also, he wrote most of the lyrics, as least it seems that so, so it's understandable why one would think he wrote most of the music, but lyrically is mostly him - musically I do believe it was a band effort, just with major contributions from Neal (his original "Whirlwind" demo and RCG).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on November 03, 2010, 08:39:17 AM
Their in no bigger Neal fan than myself! I approve this thread greatly! :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: juice on November 03, 2010, 12:45:03 PM
Neal is awesome! I got into his music through Transatlantic and now I have some Spock's Beard and some of his solo stuff as well.  :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Dr. DTVT on November 03, 2010, 01:03:42 PM
Don't Try This At Home - out of this world performance.  Anyone who isn't a Neal fan after listening to that version of "The Light" should have their head examined.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 03, 2010, 01:06:43 PM
Fair enough, Marc, but that still doesn't constitute a majority. ;)  I think it goes without saying, based on the words of both Stolt and Portnoy, that the majority of the main piece was written by the whole band.  Neal might very well have had the most parts in it of those written by himself (compare to parts Stolt wrote by himself, etc.), but that still doesn't automatically mean a majority.  I hope that made sense. :lol

Back to Neal's solo, I continue to insist that his self-titled first solo album is highly underrated, and that "Everything Is Wrong" and "Emma" are two of his best solo songs to date.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on November 03, 2010, 02:43:21 PM
Hey Marc,

If you're still gonna do the survivor, I think Testimony would be way easier if we broke up the parts.  Vote the best songs on each part separately, and then merged the winners.  That way, we could have a copule threads open at once--much faster.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 03, 2010, 03:12:40 PM
Hey Marc,

If you're still gonna do the survivor, I think Testimony would be way easier if we broke up the parts.  Vote the best songs on each part separately, and then merged the winners.  That way, we could have a copule threads open at once--much faster.

Well, Quadrochosis already did the survivor for Testimony, and the top 2 songs (Finalists) were "Oh To Feel Him" and "The Storm Before The Calm", with "I Am Willing" landing in the Consolation spot, so I think I am going to use those. Unfortunately, the way it was run, any of the songs that got votes, period, in the first couple rounds, were voted off, even with 1 vote, so the whole survivor only ran 5 rounds. It did manage to cut out 20 songs in 2 rounds, though, between the 3 people who voted (which were at least me, Quadrochosis, and another person).

Personally, I think those three songs are worthy of being the winners, and I feel no REAL need to re-do the survivor for that album unless there is demand to do so, but only if i have more than 5 dedicated voters, which is why I planned on doing the other albums first, gain attention and voters for albums that have far less choices to make (12 or less tracks per album from One to Lifeline).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 03, 2010, 10:53:13 PM
"Oh, to Feel Him" finished in the top two?  That surprises me.  I mean, it is a good song, but I guess I am just a bit surprised it outlasted "Wasted Life," "Somber Days" and "Break of Day."  Then again, was this one of those survivors that had like six people voting? :lol :p
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 03, 2010, 11:02:04 PM
"Oh, to Feel Him" finished in the top two?  That surprises me.  I mean, it is a good song, but I guess I am just a bit surprised it outlasted "Wasted Life," "Somber Days" and "Break of Day."  Then again, was this one of those survivors that had like six people voting? :lol :p

Six?! That would have been a blessing! We had like 3 every round... which is why I'm thankful for the 4-5 I get with my Spock's Beard Survivor! :biggrin:

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 12, 2010, 10:28:22 PM
Upon further review, I can safely that ? and One are undoubtedly his two best solo records. 

Also, assuming Neal does more solo albums, I'd love for his next one to be proggy as usual, but with all individual songs, as opposed to having any type of concept or theme, musically or lyrically.  As much as I like his stuff, he goes overboard with the musical reprises way too often, and going for an album that is all different songs, like he usually did with SB prior to Snow, could bring out the best in him again, I think. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 12, 2010, 10:40:46 PM
Upon further review, I can safely that ? and One are undoubtedly his two best solo records. 

Also, assuming Neal does more solo albums, I'd love for his next one to be proggy as usual, but with all individual songs, as opposed to having any type of concept or theme, musically or lyrically.  As much as I like his stuff, he goes overboard with the musical reprises way too often, and going for an album that is all different songs, like he usually did with SB prior to Snow, could bring out the best in him again, I think. 

Two questions for ya, Kev:

1- Do you own the Special Edition of One with the bonus tracks? And if so, do you listen to the album with the restored 11-song tracklist?

2- What did you think of Lifeline? It's not any type of concept or theme, and as you said, is full of different, and individual songs. Infact I liken the album to more along the lines of SB's V, especially in that it opens with a 14-15 minute epic (and even aspects of "Lifeline" are similar to "At The End Of The Day"), and contains a lengthy multi-part epic that is based on Neal's life ("The Great Nothing" and "So Many Roads"), and between them are sandwiched 4 shorter songs of varying styles and ranges (loud and heavy, to soft and acoustic).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on November 13, 2010, 09:22:22 AM
I really don't get the disliking of Lifeline, it's superb.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on November 13, 2010, 09:33:37 AM
Upon further review, I can safely that ? and One are undoubtedly his two best solo records. 

Also, assuming Neal does more solo albums, I'd love for his next one to be proggy as usual, but with all individual songs, as opposed to having any type of concept or theme, musically or lyrically.  As much as I like his stuff, he goes overboard with the musical reprises way too often, and going for an album that is all different songs, like he usually did with SB prior to Snow, could bring out the best in him again, I think. 

I'm with you on this entire post.

I really don't get the disliking of Lifeline, it's superb.

When I first started listening to Morse's solo stuff, Lifeline was the last album I checked out because of all the negative buzz I read about it.  When I eventually heard it for the first time, I was shocked at how good it was.  It's a very solid album: I prefer it to Testimony and Sola Scriptura.  A bit lacking in consistency maybe, but that's my only big gripe.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 13, 2010, 10:00:42 AM
Two questions for ya, Kev:

1- Do you own the Special Edition of One with the bonus tracks? And if so, do you listen to the album with the restored 11-song tracklist?

Yes to the first question; no to the second.

2- What did you think of Lifeline? It's not any type of concept or theme, and as you said, is full of different, and individual songs. Infact I liken the album to more along the lines of SB's V, especially in that it opens with a 14-15 minute epic (and even aspects of "Lifeline" are similar to "At The End Of The Day"), and contains a lengthy multi-part epic that is based on Neal's life ("The Great Nothing" and "So Many Roads"), and between them are sandwiched 4 shorter songs of varying styles and ranges (loud and heavy, to soft and acoustic).

I have to admit that I still haven't listened to Lifeline.  I wasn't that wild about either of the two songs I heard from it at the time, it seemed to get pretty meh reviews across the board when it came out, I was in a very non-proggy listening phase when it did come out, so I wasn't in a hurry to get it, and by the time I got back around to a prog phase, the very little talk I read about it made me not to want to check it out.  Maybe soon...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on November 23, 2010, 07:13:05 PM
There are some beautiful songs on Lifeline.

Lifeline is just fun, a bit repetitive at the end but whatever.
The Way Home (or whatever it's called) is a cool little acoustic tune. Same with God's Love.
Leviathan is an awesome, fun song. Really sounds like the band had fun creating that beat (har har).
Children of the Chosen is hauntingly good.
So Many Roads is a bit long, but it still flies by for me. All sorts of fun little things going on there.
Fly High is a sober and concise closer to an album meant to have some fun but deliver its message.

Great album all around, not my favorite but by no means bad.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on November 23, 2010, 07:29:07 PM
Upon further review, I can safely that ? and One are undoubtedly his two best solo records. 

Also, assuming Neal does more solo albums, I'd love for his next one to be proggy as usual, but with all individual songs, as opposed to having any type of concept or theme, musically or lyrically.  As much as I like his stuff, he goes overboard with the musical reprises way too often, and going for an album that is all different songs, like he usually did with SB prior to Snow, could bring out the best in him again, I think. 

Two questions for ya, Kev:

1- Do you own the Special Edition of One with the bonus tracks? And if so, do you listen to the album with the restored 11-song tracklist?

2- What did you think of Lifeline? It's not any type of concept or theme, and as you said, is full of different, and individual songs. Infact I liken the album to more along the lines of SB's V, especially in that it opens with a 14-15 minute epic (and even aspects of "Lifeline" are similar to "At The End Of The Day"), and contains a lengthy multi-part epic that is based on Neal's life ("The Great Nothing" and "So Many Roads"), and between them are sandwiched 4 shorter songs of varying styles and ranges (loud and heavy, to soft and acoustic).

-Marc.

I'll bite on this as well even though it wasn't directed at me.

I do not have the special edition of One, but I really should get it.  It is easily my favorite Neal album, and most days probably my favorite album of all time.  VERY powerful.  Several parts still manage to move me to tears.

Lifeline never really impressed me for some reason.  It's funny because I can't really think of much I don't like (other than not being crazy about Leviathan).  As I go song by song in my head, I'm pretty much saying for every song, "Yeah, I like that one."  So I'm not sure what it is.  But I am glad he broke out of the concept album pattern.  I felt he really needed to, although the concepts for his solo albums have all been superb (? being my least favorite).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on November 23, 2010, 08:17:49 PM
(? being my least favorite).

Hmm. How about you ban yourself, sir? That is just blasphemy. Smite thyself!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on November 26, 2010, 05:33:20 AM
I really like Lifeline.  I think it's better than Sola Scriptura.  There are one or two songs that are less than amazing, but the title track and Leviathan are gold, and So Many Roads is outstanding as well.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 27, 2010, 03:45:51 AM
I really like Lifeline.  I think it's better than Sola Scriptura.  There are one or two songs that are less than amazing, but the title track and Leviathan are gold, and So Many Roads is outstanding as well.

These are pretty much my exact same sentiments toward this album.

Also, just for a note for you Neal Morse fans out there, I've brought back the Neal Morse Survivor (with permission from Quadrochosis, who started it with Testimony). I hope to see more than 3 voters/round this time (as was the case with the first album).

I've started with One and will be moving forward in order, with ? after, then Sola Scriptura, and finally Lifeline, before doing Consolation Rounds and the Finals.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on November 27, 2010, 05:03:02 AM
I'm in.

I haven't listened to his stuff in a good long while.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 03, 2010, 11:03:34 PM
So, in addition to the Morse/Morse/Portnoy/LaRue project, apparently Neal is working on a "Testimony 2" album, as someone has posted on the SB forums (cited from the InnerCircle newsletter). I'm not sure how I feel about it, but if the music is fresh it might be good. If it turns out to be a rehash of themes/motifs from the first Testimony, I may have to rank it lower than Lifeline. However, if it begins with "Part 6", I'll rejoice in the "continuity" of it!

Also, Roine Stolt has gone on the record as saying he's highly interested in working with Neal/Mike/Pete again and is actually writing material that has yet to have a home (which could be for Agents Of Mercy, Transatlantic or *gasp* The Flower Kings). He says Neal really enjoyed the album and tour and it's great success, so if Neal wants to, I'm sure Mike and Roine would be ALL OVER doing another album, they'd just have to work around Pete's schedules with Marillion, and their own schedules as well.

However, it would be a lot for Neal if he was doing a solo album, the Morse/Morse project, AND Transatlantic... But hey, Roine released 3 albums last year (3rd World Electric's Kilimanjaro Secret Brew, Agents Of Mercy's The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight, and of course Transatlantic's The Whirlwind)... Maybe Neal could pull off the same feat?

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on December 04, 2010, 12:43:14 AM
Also, just for a note for you Neal Morse fans out there, I've brought back the Neal Morse Survivor (with permission from Quadrochosis, who started it with Testimony). I hope to see more than 3 voters/round this time (as was the case with the first album).

I've started with One and will be moving forward in order, with ? after, then Sola Scriptura, and finally Lifeline, before doing Consolation Rounds and the Finals.

-Marc.

I wanted to participate.  But unfortunately, you included the bonus tracks instead of just going with the standard album.  Since I haven't heard the bonus tracks, I can't really vote.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 04, 2010, 05:14:07 AM
Yeah, including the bonus tracks probably wasn't the best idea. I am still new to them for the past few days and it's hard to truly rank them even after a few listens. I am so used to the standard that inserting the new tracks is weird, at least at this point.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 04, 2010, 08:27:04 AM
Yeah, including the bonus tracks probably wasn't the best idea. I am still new to them for the past few days and it's hard to truly rank them even after a few listens. I am so used to the standard that inserting the new tracks is weird, at least at this point.

Well this'll be the only NM album that'll do that. I'm not including either of the bonus tracks for Lifeline, and both ? and Sola Scriptura did not have bonus tracks anyway.

Sorry if including them has thrown anyone off, but perhaps once they're gone (one already is, another may be soon, and the third probably in a couple of rounds), please feel free to vote in the last couple of rounds!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 04, 2010, 05:43:42 PM
I have to say, though, I wish they were left on, all 3 are fantastic ( and rank higher than some of the other final tracks).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 04, 2010, 05:57:59 PM
I have to say, though, I wish they were left on, all 3 are fantastic ( and rank higher than some of the other final tracks).

They are pretty good! So much so that I only ever listen to the album with that restored track listing with the bonus tracks put back in their place. Even for my CD-copy case (because I don't listen to/play actual CDs in my car, I make copies of alot of things), I made One a 2-CD set (92:28) with "The Creation"-"Author Of Confusion" on the first disc (tracks 1-5, 38:37), and "The Separated Man"-"Reunion" on the second disc (tracks 6-11, 53:51).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 04, 2010, 06:17:17 PM
I'm probably going to do that. I haven't listened to NM in my car in a loooooong time (really, his stuff in general, and he's like my second favorite artist ever).

I feel a NM phase coming on. :biggrin


Also, I couldn't find the chords to Children of the Chosen, but I am trying to figure it out by ear. I think I have it mostly right, will need to listen to it more. I would like my band to cover this, I could do bass/keys at the same time (split keys), and it would be awesome.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 05, 2010, 12:21:20 AM
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on December 05, 2010, 04:54:52 PM
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.

He doesn't reject the trinity, he rejects the idea of it being one monotheistic god. Technically he's polytheistic. I don't ever recall him saying that Jesus wasn't a God either.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 05, 2010, 07:02:11 PM
Um.  If that's true then wow.  I've seen in interviews where he quotes a lot of scripture, and he even does so in songs.  He seems like a well-read guy.  That belief of his really surprises me since there are a bigillion verses that say there's one God.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 05, 2010, 07:05:36 PM
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.

He doesn't reject the trinity, he rejects the idea of it being one monotheistic god. Technically he's polytheistic. I don't ever recall him saying that Jesus wasn't a God either.

Source? Lyrics to the end of Reunion don't really support that..."One mind, one voice, one love, one Spirit."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 05, 2010, 07:10:40 PM
I took this out of Christianity Today's interview with him.

Q: Your message board has a long, ongoing discussion about your views on the Trinity and the nature of Jesus, but can you give a thumbnail sketch of what you believe?

Morse: I believe there is one God the Father, that he has a son, Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the father; and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal. I think I'm something different. I simply like to say that I'm a disciple of Christ. I believe that the best thing to do is to stick with Scripture.

Q: Do you believe Jesus was a created being?

Morse: I wouldn't put it that way. I think "begotten" may be distinct from "created." I don't want to make less of God's Son than some people say I do. He is the unique Son of God, and all power has been given to him in heaven and earth. But a son comes from a father. In 1 Corinthians 15:28, it says that in the end times Jesus is subjected to the Father. In the Gospel of John, Jesus doesn't do anything except what the Father tells him to do. I don't see in the Scriptures how Jesus and God can be co-equaI and the same person. I'm just trying to acknowledge what the Scriptures say—that all power has been given to him, and that we should worship him and serve him.

Q: Weren't these issues settled for Christians at the Council of Nicaea, when the Arian view of Jesus as a created being was rejected and the Trinity affirmed?

Morse I probably need to study it more. I'm not sure exactly what the Arians believed. I think that the Council of Nicaea was not a godly event. I was watching the History Channel where it showed that Constantine really didn't care how it came out; he just wanted unity so he could conquer other nations. So it seems to me that the spirit of conquering was very present there, but I wasn't there, and I don't want to pretend to be an expert on the Council of Nicaea.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on December 05, 2010, 09:00:56 PM
I really like Morse's music, but from what I can gather his theology is pretty shoddy to say the least.  I mean he cited the History Channel in that interview for crying out loud. :lol  Luckily, it's not that often that it comes through in his lyrics.  He seems like a genuine guy who is doing his best to sort things out, which admittedly is a very difficult task for anybody.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 05, 2010, 10:07:59 PM
Holy mackeral I just thought of something!!!

What if...

the REAL reason Mike left is the SAME reason Morse left? 

1)  There's an upcoming Testimony 2.
2)  There's an upcoming Morse/Morse/Portnoy/LaRue project.
3)  Neal Morse is not going to be the lead singer...(perhaps he doesn't feel it right to be the lead man?)

"My heart is not with DT."

*brainsplode*
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on December 06, 2010, 11:31:29 AM
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.

I'm not sure where you got that he rejects the trinity or that he believes Jesus is not God from the excerpt you quoted above.  While I certainly disagree with him on some religious issues, his statements in the interview are pretty dead-on.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 06, 2010, 04:33:28 PM
No Trinity - "I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal."
Jesus is not God - "there is one God the Father, that he has a son, Jesus Christ"
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on December 06, 2010, 04:44:19 PM
No Trinity - "I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal."

That does not mean he rejects the trinity.  It means he rejects at least some denominational teaching regarding a trinity.

No Trinity - "I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal."

Similarly, this does not suggest to me that he rejects that Jesus is God, but merely that he is saying Jesus is distinct from God the father.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on December 07, 2010, 09:55:35 AM
I don't see anything non-Biblical in what he said in that interview.  What's the problem?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 08, 2010, 10:34:11 PM
So, with rumors of Testimony 2 in the works (well, probably not really "rumors" if it was in the InnerCircle Newsletter), anyone think Mike would be up to touring with Neal in support of that album? With Mike's 2011-schedule looking a bit more free, I say it's quite possible.

Mike seemed to have had a blast playing on the first Testimony Tour, and I think it'd only be fitting if Neal brought back his Testimony-Band to play on the second album and tour (with the addition of Randy George on bass, of course). Nothing against his European band, but I think it'd be awesome to see Neal tour around the US for his second Testimony album, and it'd be a great way for Mike to fill up some of his time in 2011.

Just putting that out there...

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 08, 2010, 10:44:11 PM
Testimony 2?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 08, 2010, 10:54:33 PM
Testimony 2?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Someone's not reading my posts lately... (cue flashback to 5 days ago)...

So, in addition to the Morse/Morse/Portnoy/LaRue project, apparently Neal is working on a "Testimony 2" album, as someone has posted on the SB forums (cited from the InnerCircle newsletter)...

 :loser:

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 08, 2010, 10:57:53 PM
Hey man...this is the week of finals....I...don't have time to read every post...SHUT UP

:p
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 08, 2010, 11:13:00 PM
Hey man...this is the week of finals....I...don't have time to read every post...SHUT UP

:p

Hahaha, it's cool, no worries. It's finals around here too - all the college kids are going crazy :lol I work with a good lot of them, so I feel ya. Hey, I was a college kids once, too!

But yes, Testimony 2!!!111onetwotwoone... Really though, I'm holding on to all hope that it opens with a chunk of songs designated "Part 6".

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on December 09, 2010, 12:03:29 AM
Could Neal even afford to do a U.S. tour?  And could he pay Portnoy enough money for it to be worth his while?  Let's face it, Neal's fan base has shrunk more and more over the years, to the point where he barely does shows in the States anymore, and even when he does, he barely draws. And I doubt him touring on a sequel to one of his religious CDs would bring any of the old fans who've jumped ship in the last eight years back. Even if Portnoy would agree to do a short tour for pennies, more or less as a favor to his good friend, I just don't see Neal selling enough tickets for this to be profitable for him at all.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 09, 2010, 12:52:42 AM
He and Portnoy are practically best friends.  I don't think Portnoy will decline if he's not offered that much money.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on December 10, 2010, 03:50:11 PM
He and Portnoy are practically best friends.  I don't think Portnoy will decline if he's not offered that much money.

Not when he was in DT, but now that he is unemployed it might be a bit out of his control where and when he tours.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 10, 2010, 08:01:36 PM
He and Portnoy are practically best friends.  I don't think Portnoy will decline if he's not offered that much money.

Not when he was in DT, but now that he is unemployed it might be a bit out of his control where and when he tours.
I suppose you're right.  It's unfortunate that so many people have abandoned/forgotten about Morse.  He truly is an outstanding musician.  Perhaps they should stick with Transatlantic until Morse's name gets big enough to where he can go out and do shows.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 10, 2010, 09:59:01 PM
Randomly surfing the net for info on the Morse/Morse project brought me to the following link -
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Neal-Morse/106165732748778?sk=wall

- In which someone who is in contact with Randy George had posted the following:
Quote
Randy George, Mike Portnoy, and Neal Morse will be recording "Testimony 2" in Nashville the week before Chrstmas! Wowsers!!!

I suppose that is this coming week!!! Crazy! If Neal is quick with the turnaround, we can likely see this album before next June! We can only hope!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 10, 2010, 10:01:05 PM
YES YES YES

Testimony is an album that comfortably sits in my top 5 of all time.  I am extremely excited about this.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 10, 2010, 10:03:39 PM
But who knows how credible that source is. That isn't even the official NM facebook page, nor is there any info posted anywhere else. Or is there?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 10, 2010, 10:11:14 PM
But who knows how credible that source is. That isn't even the official NM facebook page, nor is there any info posted anywhere else. Or is there?

Well given that Neal's InnerCircle Newsletter mentioned him doing Testimony 2 makes me want to believe that post is true. And Randy does get around to Neal's fans more often than Neal himself, so it's not entirely beyond the realm of possibility that Randy would spill those beans.

And Mike is done touring with A7X this year (after this weekend's show in Las Vegas), so him flying out to Nashville next week isn't entirely out of the question. I'm hoping more light is shed on this ASAP, as well as the Morse/Morse project!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 10, 2010, 10:21:57 PM
Oh, me too, I am just naturally skeptical. But what you said makes sense, and I really hope it's true!

So, speculation: I love the thematic reprises through the whole album of Testimony. I hope the second part uses some of those (in new ways, of course) and introduces new melodies. I think that that is Testimony's strong point: how Neal wraps the album in a giant theme musically and lyrically. Sometimes it can get a bit over done (example: The Man's Gone as its own song and in another song on One), but Testimony pulls it off fantastically well.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on December 10, 2010, 11:05:03 PM
Man, Testimony is arguably my least favorite of Morse's solo albums.  Way too long and overly drawn out, and just not very interesting musically or lyrically.

However, I'm excited anyway! :metal  I wonder how and to what degree it will be tied to the original Testimony.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on December 11, 2010, 09:10:07 AM
I'm a little confused as to why he's making a sequel. Did he have another epiphany? The first one was so long that I didn't think there was anything left to say.

Maybe he unconverted and he is wrapping up his Christian catalog by coming full circle. :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 11, 2010, 09:17:08 AM
No one has commented on my theory that this is not Neal's Testimony, but Mike's Testimony.  Unrealistic, but would be really cool if true.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on December 11, 2010, 09:58:16 AM
No one has commented on my theory that this is not Neal's Testimony, but Mike's Testimony.  Unrealistic, but would be really cool if true.
I have recently wondered if Mike's exit from DT had more to do with his faith and his feelings after his dad's death than any musical, personal, or scheduling differences he had with his bandmates.  I have absolutely nothing to base this on other than the circumstances and what MP has said filtered through my perception.  As a Christian, this may just be wishful thinking on my part but I don't think I'm alone in this.   
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: rumborak on December 11, 2010, 10:09:20 AM
Yeah, I think that's pretty much wishful thinking. I have not had the impression that religion plays a major role in any of DT's members, present or past.

rumborak
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on December 11, 2010, 10:37:08 AM
Yeah, I think that's pretty much wishful thinking. I have not had the impression that religion plays a major role in any of DT's members, present or past.

rumborak

JP is a practicing Catholic, and I've often seen him in photos at churchy events with his family.  JM is some kind of Christian, and when asked about who his hero/role model is, in some interview, he said "Jesus."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 13, 2010, 01:34:44 PM
Update from Randy George about "Testimony 2":
(Source - http://nealmorse.yuku.com/topic/3862/master/1/?page=1 )

Quote
"I wasn't aware that it was written yet."
Me either... I think we are making it up as we go....

"hahaha I doubt if Neal is even capable of not making it two discs!"
Well actually... I think there was definitely more than one disc worth of songs.  But I doubt we'll have time to do more than a single disc.   

"we can likely see this album before next June!"
I believe the target release is May...

The bold parts are his replies to questions in quotes. Randy seems to say that Neal has more than a disc's worth of songs so I predict a 2-disc Special/Limited edition of the album with the bonus songs (a la One).

Hopefully they stay on schedule for the May targeted release!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: dedSurroun on December 13, 2010, 03:24:54 PM
Glad to hear that Neal is doing some solo stuff. Well, if it's better than Lifeline, I'll be happy.

The (temporary?) title "Testimony 2" does not sounds promising, though. Hope it's not too similar, musically. He seems stuck in a certain style that, while it can work, has become overused.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on December 13, 2010, 07:01:54 PM
Transatlantic is amazing. I should listen to more Neal.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on December 13, 2010, 07:34:03 PM
Transatlantic is amazing. I should listen to more Neal.
:tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on December 13, 2010, 09:22:41 PM
I'm seeing this as a limited edition book/CD/DVD tie in....
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 13, 2010, 10:05:54 PM
I'm seeing this as a limited edition book/CD/DVD tie in....

Could happen. He has been writing that book this year, so if it's about his life, his "testimony", he may release it with the CD, or in conjunction with it. I do see the Limited Edition (through Radiant Records, of course) being the Book, a 2CD set (the standard edition single disc, plus the special edition bonus disc), and a bonus DVD (making of and such).

It could totally happen... and you know what? I would LOVE it, especially for the right price, and depending on the packaging, I'd say around $50-60 would be a good asking price, especially for pre-orders.

Neal, please do this - I'm totally on board for it.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on December 14, 2010, 01:30:38 PM
Book?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 14, 2010, 02:32:24 PM
Book?

Yeah - read on the NM Forums earlier this year that Neal was working on a book...

http://nealmorse.yuku.com/sreply/48832/t/Is-Neal-still-interested-.html

Quote
Right now I am writing a book of my personal story, but also writing songs and music is flowing as well.
We are also working on the Transatlantic DVD/CD live package which will be out in the fall.
After that there will be more music to come I am sure. I am a "one project at a time" kind of guy, and right now I am trying to work on my book. I'll try and post here more often though. you can also check: nealmorsefans.com  for info as well.
take care and God bless,
Neal

So as it seems, Neal has been working on a book AND music, presumably all tied together for this upcoming "Testimony 2" album. That post by Neal was from the end of August, so if Neal works as fast as he usually does, Randy's quote about Neal having a little over a disc's worth of music seems about right at this time.

I'm hoping Neal makes some sort of news-release about his upcoming projects for the new year and informs us fans!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: dech2410 on December 19, 2010, 12:56:37 PM
Mike on twitter:

On my way to Nashville to record Neal Morse's Testimony 2...his love and positive spirit will be PERFECT for me right now

Nuff said, we're getting an awesome new album :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 19, 2010, 01:09:03 PM
Mike on twitter:

On my way to Nashville to record Neal Morse's Testimony 2...his love and positive spirit will be PERFECT for me right now

Nuff said, we're getting an awesome new album :D

More-or-less Official Confirmation now... it's funny, we've heard from both Randy and Mike on this but NOT Neal... Well, with 6 days before Christmas, I'm willing to bet Neal, Mike and Randy jam out the new album in 5 days (which isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, especially if what Randy has said is true and they're only making no more than a disc-and-a-half's worth of music).

Looking forward to hearing more about this as it develops!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 19, 2010, 03:26:16 PM
YES! New Neal Morse and DT pretty much all in the works. Next year FTW
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on December 19, 2010, 04:06:27 PM
YES! New Neal Morse and DT pretty much all in the works. Next year FTW
:tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on December 19, 2010, 04:26:52 PM
I better post here, since I adore Neals song writing abilities.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 19, 2010, 05:02:18 PM
Straight from Neal's facebook status:

Neal Morse
Will be joined by Mike Portnoy and Randy George for the recording of "Testimony 2" during the holidays. Stay tuned for more!
22 minutes ago
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on December 19, 2010, 08:23:12 PM
Wow. For the holidays? Are the Portnoy and Morse family spending the holidays together this year?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ddtonfire on December 19, 2010, 10:44:21 PM
That would be cute!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on December 20, 2010, 07:53:09 AM
Wow. For the holidays? Are the Portnoy and Morse family spending the holidays together this year?

Yeah, and I am pretty sure I know what Neal will give Portnoy for Christmas: a request to God to smite John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and James La Brie.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 20, 2010, 08:29:14 AM
Wow. For the holidays? Are the Portnoy and Morse family spending the holidays together this year?

Yeah, and I am pretty sure I know what Neal will give Portnoy for Christmas: a request to God to smite John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and James La Brie.

Yes, because there is so much animosity there. ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 21, 2010, 01:14:13 AM
http://nealmorse.yuku.com/topic/3866

Randy George's Testimony 2 Studio Diary:
Quote
Day 1: Well it started out to be a good day. I awoke about 8:00 or so but I still needed a couple hours of sleep. I had some Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast. Not long after my cell phone died and I realized I left my cell phone charger at home so I had to run to Wal Mart. I got back and we started dialing in tracking mixes and getting things ready. Mike showed up at 1:00 which is normal for him. We really didn't get into tracking until about 3:30 or so though. But we did get through a good amount of stuff. We had some extensive reworking of a few things. What we did get really shaped up to be quite nice. Mike is sounding awesome as usual. I'm using a Mike Lull Thunderbird Bass and the tone is just amazing. I'm really glad I brought it. We still have alot to do though so the next couple of days should prove interesting. Neal has done some extensive remodeling of the studio so there are still things being worked on in preparation for the big session next month with Steve Morse. That will be an interesting project. Anyhow I'll try to post some more tomorrow.

Randy

Solo album this month, Morse/Morse collaboration next month! Mike & Neal are going to be busy boys!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 21, 2010, 05:17:53 AM
*eye twitch*

*drool*
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 21, 2010, 07:31:49 PM
So I've been spinning ? a lot lately, mostly due to my Neal Morse Survivor being on that album right now (which you should all check out in the Polls/Survivors Forum!). Even after 5 years, this album is definitely some of the best work Neal has ever done. Also, Jordan's solo during "In The Fire" is just, well, on FIRE. And Randy's bass solo during "Solid As The Sun" is pretty sweet. And of course Steve Hackett's solo during "12" is mind-blowingly awesome!

I also enjoy the fact that Roine played on this album in 2005, and then Neal played on Roine's Wall Street Voodoo that same year (and both albums were released 2 weeks apart). Then later on in 2007, Neal guested on Jordan's The Road Home and his brother's solo album 4 O'Clock & Hysteria. Glad to know Neal is nice enough to appear on his friend's albums for having them appear on his!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on December 21, 2010, 07:52:49 PM
So, if MP really is done with DT, how does that play into the Morse/Morse/MP group scenario?  It that closer to a reality or will it just be a side project?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 21, 2010, 08:06:18 PM
So, if MP really is done with DT, how does that play into the Morse/Morse/MP group scenario?  It that closer to a reality or will it just be a side project?

I don't quite follow your question... it IS a reality, and it IS happening (next month as confirmed by Randy George who said Neal is remodeling his studio and preparing for the sessions with Steve Morse/Mike Portnoy/Dave LaRue). It's likely just another side-project for Neal and/or Mike. I don't see how Mike not being in DT plays a factor in this. If anything, his LEAVING them probably allowed it to happen as soon as it is. Instead of going in the studio with DT next month, Mike's going back in with Neal (after recording with him THIS week/month). If anything, I hope this opens up the possibility that this band/project gets to tour! I hope they find a very fitting vocalist for the group too! I wonder if this 5-piece becomes more permanent that it might be Mike's "new band"? Hmmm...

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on December 21, 2010, 08:18:02 PM
So, if MP really is done with DT, how does that play into the Morse/Morse/MP group scenario?  It that closer to a reality or will it just be a side project?

I don't quite follow your question... it IS a reality, and it IS happening (next month as confirmed by Randy George who said Neal is remodeling his studio and preparing for the sessions with Steve Morse/Mike Portnoy/Dave LaRue). It's likely just another side-project for Neal and/or Mike. I don't see how Mike not being in DT plays a factor in this. If anything, his LEAVING them probably allowed it to happen as soon as it is. Instead of going in the studio with DT next month, Mike's going back in with Neal (after recording with him THIS week/month). If anything, I hope this opens up the possibility that this band/project gets to tour! I hope they find a very fitting vocalist for the group too! I wonder if this 5-piece becomes more permanent that it might be Mike's "new band"? Hmmm...

-Marc.
That was my actual question:  Is there a possibility of the side project becoming a new full time band?  Thanks for putting it better than me.  I was trying to forum post and watch my Dallas Mavericks at the same time. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 21, 2010, 08:39:06 PM
I would hope that Mike and Neal do two tours in 2011 - one in support of the Morse/Morse Band, and another tour in support of Testimony 2, because having Mike on the first Testimony Tour was amazing, and I'm glad they caught it for video release! Great concert!

Depending on how long Testimony 2 ends up being (bonus tracks and all), I'd like to see a tour that plays the Testimedley (from Neal's recent tours), then plays the whole new album, and perhaps closes the show with some standards (other Morse-solo tunes, "We All Need Some Light", and perhaps "Is This Really Happening?" and/or "Dancing With Eternal Glory"). Do all of this on a short US tour (a dozen dates or so) and I will SOOOO be there (either at the show, or buying the eventual live release).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on December 21, 2010, 08:41:12 PM
I would love to see them play live. I just doubt they'd come near NC.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 22, 2010, 07:58:25 AM
Another (longer) update from Randy in the studio!!! -
Quote
Day 2: Well today started early. I was up for a moment to do the usual and then get something to drink. Wil and Jayda were making muffins and I sat down in the living room with Neal for a minute and immediately we started talking about an arrangment on one of the songs. So instead of returning to the comfort of my bed to continue the sleep I was so very much enjoying we talked for a while and then had some breakfast. Neal and Mike went to the gym and I fixed some bass stuff with Jerry in the studio. Neal and Mike return soon after and we jumped right into it. We wanted to get a jump on the day as we only got through about 15 minutes of music yesterday. We really needed to cover about 40 more today but I think we managed to get about 35 minutes more done so I think we are sitting at the 50 minute mark. I'm sure this record will no doubt once again challege the limits of CD capacity. We did alot of arranging as we went. We have been bringing in new ideas to the existing ones. Much of the material was still a bit rough as all this was very premature scheduling wise. But here we are. Mike is playing great and the feel is good. We covered several songs today as much of yesterday was spent working out certain musical themes and passages that weave around the songs. We had some fun along the way. We would be waiting for Jerry to do something so one of us would breakout in a song and soon we were jamming on it... although not for the record. Just radom fun. Sometimes you have to break the tedium by just playing off the cuff. Neal started playing "Everybody Wants to Rule The Word" by Tears for Fears and we all jumped in and started playing it. Mike and I played some Zappa stuff a little as well.  We might have to record some of it sometime. But I doubt we will have time for a bonus disc this time. Who knows though... we'll how far we get tomorrow. We have to finish Mike's tracks first as it is his last day here. I think we are in range to finish though. The record is shaping up nicely. There is some really great material going on! Sleep in the next order of business now!

Randy

Mike only has 3 days in the studio with Neal to record drum parts for a CD-length album?! AMAZING... He's almost done anyway, if he got through 35 minutes yesterday, the next 20-30 should be easy today.

I also enjoy hearing that they're jamming on covers and having fun. Part of me kind of hopes they do some bonus-disc material for fun! Mike and Neal always know how to have a great time in the studio with jamming and covers!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on December 22, 2010, 12:09:21 PM
Mike, Randy and Neal playing Zappa?

That's a... strange combination. But I'm interested to hear that!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 22, 2010, 12:35:35 PM
I just realized that there are no tracks from Sola Scriptura on So Many Roads: Live. Shows how much I paid attention to that.

We have the three epics from SS on Sola Scriptura and Beyond, but Heaven in My Heart is not yet released in a live format. Kind of a bummer. But NM has such a large bank of songs to record live, it's understandable.

Also, Children of the Chosen should be on the next live release. One of my favorite NM songs, just an awesome feeling to that song.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on December 22, 2010, 12:39:46 PM
Good thing you mention Heaven in my Heart. (or to stay in the Zappa/Morse mood "Hebbin' in my heart")

I love that song, after two or three listens I hated it, but it has grown so incredibly much!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 23, 2010, 11:05:54 AM
^Yeah dude, it is an amazing ballad among the 3 giants of that album.

O.K., here is an update from Mike Portnoy:

"Neal Morse's Testimony 2 is another masterpiece! I am so grateful to have such a great friend and amazing artist in my life...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry"


I cannot wait for this. If we get new DT, NM, and Thrice next year, my head will explode.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 11:14:16 AM
Third and final update from Randy:
Quote
Day 3: I was so not ready to get up this morning. Todd wanted to go out to breakfast so I had to be up earlier than I wanted. But it was worth it. We went to this little place a mile down the road. It was so totally surreal. It should have been a movie with all the country yokels sitting around playing cards... it was a good time though and well worth the sacrifice of precious sleep.  I had BACON! We worked on some Bass tracks before Mike arrived but then got started on the album about 2:00 or so. We had to finish today since Mike leaves for home in the morning. We were a little unsure but once we got into it we moved right along. Mike did some unbelievable stuff tonight. He cited on fill as his favorite of the year. We also filmed more Christmas videos for the different websites. Dinner was awesome and we got back into the momentum pretty quickly. But we had trouble staying awake... man. But we did get through it all to the grand conclusion despite the fact that Mike farted and I couldn't get out! This has turned out to be a really great record. There was a lot of collaberation on this one. It's the best album I have never heard. We still have no idea what it's going to sound like but we know the drums and bass are good! Neal still has to record all his parts now. We tracked to some rough outlines only. I am really looking forward to the finished product. Well it's time for sleep and I complete Bass tracks tomorrow then home for Christmas!

Randy

Read more here - http://nealmorse.yuku.com/topic/3866

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 08:36:18 PM
www.nealmorse.com

Neal's put up a Holidays Greeting Video up on his main page! Get it while the getting's good! (Downloading now...)

Also, this update from Neal himself!

Quote
Hello everyone!

I'm sitting on the studio couch listening to Randy do his bass overdubs, singing an occasional line to him as needed. He is great and takes care of himself for the most part...I mean he punches himself in and knows what is good and doesn't need much "producing". Mike is like that too. These guys are incredible.

So we/Mike actually finished the drum tracks last night. Crazy. Not only did Mike finish playing all kinds of amazing stuff, but we rewrote and arranged quite a bit of music from the demo and incorporated several themes from Testimony 1. It all turned out exceeding my expectations, which were already pretty high considering the people involved.

Total time is at about 75 minutes. Hopeful release will be in May.

Hope you all enjoy the holidays! Blessings to all,

Neal

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 23, 2010, 08:48:33 PM
My birthday is in May.

Just letting you know, Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 08:56:04 PM
My birthday is in May.

Just letting you know, Marc.

Looks like you'll have a good birthday. Does it land on a Tuesday next year?  :lol

Also, psyched that they've incorporated themes from the first Testimony! I really hope it starts with "Part 6" and that tracks are grouped into more parts, but being only one disc and 75 minutes, it can't be more than four parts (but knowing Neal, it's probably 3 or 2 parts). I can't wait to listen to it... I'm still deciding whether or not to listen to Testimony 1 right before I listen to Testimony 2 for the first time (and/or every time after).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 23, 2010, 09:07:09 PM
On a Thursday, enough time for you to ship me my copy. :biggrin:


Ya know, that's a good idea. Listen to Testimony 1 right before the new album, for continuity's sake.  :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 09:12:35 PM
On a Thursday, enough time for you to ship me my copy. :biggrin:


Ya know, that's a good idea. Listen to Testimony 1 right before the new album, for continuity's sake.  :tup

Hahaha... you must be a comedian because that's a pretty good joke :lol

I'm holding out hope for a Special/Limited Edition with a bonus track that includes cut-songs, covers, and/or studio jams. I was disappointed when Sola Scriptura didn't have any of that. I know ? didn't, but they eventually released 7 covers they recorded during those sessions on the Cover To Cover album. Then again, with such a short amount of time for Mike and Randy to be at Neal's, I wouldn't be surprised if all they COULD cut was 75 minutes of the album and nothing more.

I won't be TOO disappointed if it's just an album (like ? and SS were), because we're getting Mike and Neal with Steve and Dave as well next year... double-dose of Neal? Yes!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on December 23, 2010, 09:17:25 PM
Best Neal Morse album to start off with?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 23, 2010, 09:18:54 PM
No doubt that it should be ?. It even features two (well, at the time now) DT members (MP and JR). And it is well-liked around here.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 09:22:42 PM
Best Neal Morse album to start off with?

Depends on what you like... and also, be forewarned, his lyrics since leaving Spock's Beard/Transatlantic are more outwardly and extrovertly Christian in message and meaning. They can be a bit praise-y and worship-y at times, but if you take them for what they are and are not easily offended by religious lyrics, then you are probably ready for ANY of his five albums.

I would probably suggest ?. If you're a fan of Transatlantic and Spock's Beard, I'd say this album is most like his previous works with those bands, and it features an array of musical guests that are surely to delight (Alan Morse, Jordan Rudess, Roine Stolt, Steve Hackett, and as usual Mike and Randy on drums and bass). It's a single piece divided into 12 tracks (sound familiar?), and runs about 56 minutes with varying themes, which aren't beaten into the ground like they are in Testimony. And don't worry if you are a collector of varying editions, there's only one edition of this album.

After that, I'd suggest getting One (Special Edition). Definitely one of my favorite Neal Morse albums of all time, and the special edition has some greats songs that were cut, as well as some sweet covers!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on December 23, 2010, 09:33:25 PM
Wow, excellent summary haha. I'm a Christian myself so I don't have a problem with it. Thanks, I'll check out ?.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on December 23, 2010, 09:38:10 PM
Five albums?  He has seven!  Why do so many always ignore his first two solo albums?  The first one is damn good; probably better than two or three of his religious solo records.

Anyway, I'd start off with ?, One or his self-titled debut.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 09:48:12 PM
Five albums?  He has seven!  Why do so many always ignore his first two solo albums?  The first one is damn good; probably better than two or three of his religious solo records.

Anyway, I'd start off with ?, One or his self-titled debut.
:facepalm: I know I know, but usually when recommending Neal Morse albums, I only think about his five since leaving SB/TA as they are more in-line with his previous prog albums (even though his self-titled debut has that 4-part epic at the end of it which isn't too bad).

I just don't normally recommend them at first, but I do agree, his self-titled album is pretty good, so I echo your suggestions!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 23, 2010, 10:11:15 PM
Best Neal Morse album to start off with?

http://www.nealmorse.com/pages/audio.asp

Check out these free single downloads too if you want to sample some of his SEVEN albums :lol (oddly absent is Sola Scriptura).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 24, 2010, 05:28:03 PM
Five albums?  He has seven!  Why do so many always ignore his first two solo albums?  The first one is damn good; probably better than two or three of his religious solo records.

Anyway, I'd start off with ?, One or his self-titled debut.

While true, we're usually talking about his 5 prog records.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on December 24, 2010, 06:00:07 PM
I listened to Sola Scriptura. Amazing stuff.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on December 24, 2010, 06:04:37 PM
I listened to Sola Scriptura. Amazing stuff.
:tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 24, 2010, 10:27:39 PM
Last update from Randy:
Quote
Day 4: Well today is Bass tracking all day. We did capture alot of good performances on the fly... but there is alwaus tons of stuff that has to be fixed for various reasons. Mike tends to trak through stuff a bit at a time until he likes what he does... I only need to track it once... so with several passes over the same bits the result is a lot of inconsistancies. It's much better to retrack bass after that fact unless we actually track the entire song in one pass. We had a few of those. I was able fix a little things and keep the parts played during drum tracking. But there is some stuff that simply has to be done after in order to assure the best result... sometimes parts are not so clear because regardless of what Neal sends Mike comes up with stuff that is different so I end up have to relearn the songs with Mike parts in place. That doesn't happen on the fly. So here I am in the studio Thursday morning 10:00 am or so. Fortunately everyone vanishes and I can sit here alone. I work best this way. The opening stuff was great and Mercy Street was actually one of the songs I didn't have to retrack. But the next section has some crazy lines that Neal of course played on keys and Is baely possible to play on guitar let alone bass... but it's not as bad as all that. It's just tricky. The worst part is no matter how great I think something is.. .Neal sometimes comes in after that fact and wants me to change it for some reason. It's like... yeah man... I think I would rather hear that part played with a pick and could you pick every note?... Uh sure... Anyhow I end up recording a part a couple of times and sometimes leaving both ways to choose later. Then there is the whole... wow... what's Mike doing there? Sometimes it's tricky to connect with some of his quirky fills. Now it has to be said that regardless of how quirky, busy, intense or insane Mike plays... It's always nuts! But you gotta love it! Who else would do fills like that in a Ballad! Anyhow I worked stright through until about 3:00 am Friday morning and managed to get a few hours sleep before getting up and and packing to leave. Up at 6:00 and off to the airport by 7:00. I'm actually typing this as I sit at the gate waiting for my flight. So the plane has just arrived and I had better wrap this up! We all had a great time once again doing what will be another great Neal Morse project. I look forward to hearing my self as everything Neal played so far on this is going to get redone... so it's the best album I have never heard! I'm looking forward to a May relase!

Wrap Up: The pace was brutal but it was fruitful! It's always a special time for the three of us when we can get together and do this. The problem is that we have so much fun we want to hang out and do other stuff together but there is never the time for that... so we try to keep motivated. But we have our moments... usually after one of Cheri's amazing dinners. well I am finally home for Christmas so I am going to sleep now...

Merry Christmas all!

Randy

"Mercy Street", eh? Anyways, sounds like an intense 4 days for Randy (and 3 for Mike)! I wonder how much of the rest of the parts Neal is going to do between now and when Steve Morse comes by in January, especially with remodeling the studio and all. Hopefully Neal gets most of his parts done before the next project so he can send the mix off to Rich and get it done in time for the projected May release!

I wonder if this means we can expect the Morse/Morse project in June or July? That'd be pretty neat!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on December 24, 2010, 10:49:08 PM
SQUUUUEEEE
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 15, 2011, 09:22:58 AM
http://nealmorse.yuku.com/topic/3923

From the man himself - Neal Morse to play at High Voltage!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on February 15, 2011, 09:27:07 AM
YES

There will almost surely be a song or two they'll play together...I'm guessing The Light?  Or...I wonder if Neal would sing The Water.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on February 15, 2011, 09:53:23 AM
I really doubt he would sing The Water.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on February 15, 2011, 10:01:30 AM
Well, I do too, but I just wanted to throw it out there.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on February 16, 2011, 01:46:50 AM
I don't think he'll ever play The Water again live. Because of the Fuck You part.

But who would join him then? MP because DT is playing there too?  ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on March 04, 2011, 07:55:32 AM
NEAL MORSE TOUR DATES
 
TESTIMONY 2 TOUR 2011
 
Thursday May 19 -  Nashville TN (venue tba)
 
Saturday May 21 -  Mexico City (venue tba)
 
Monday May 23 -  NYC,  The Blender Theater at Gramercy
 
Tuesday May 24 -  Springfield VA.,   JAXX
 
Thursday May 26  - San Francisco,  The Avalon in Santa Clara
www.bayarearockpromotions.com
 
Friday May 27 -  Seattle, WA.,  Experience Music Project Theater
 
Saturday May 28 -  Los Angeles CA.,  The Whittier Theater in Whittier
http://www.calprog.com/
 
Neal will be performing these concerts with members of the original Testimony Band featuring Mike Portnoy!
 
With the European band:
June 2
Hedon
Zwolle
The Netherlands
www.hedon-zwolle.nl
June 3
Asta
Beek (LB)
The Netherlands
www.roosterrockpromotion.com
June 4
De Boerderij
Zoetermeer
The Netherlands
www.cultuurpodiumboerderij.nl
June 5
t.b.a.
t.b.a.
Germany
 
June 7
Colos-Saal
Aschaffenburg
Germany
www.colos-saal.de
June 8
Kaminwer
Memmingen
Germany
www.kaminwerk.de
June 9
Futurum
Praque
Czech Republic
futurum.musicbar.cz
June 10
Majestic Music Club
Bratislava
Slovakia
www.majestic.sk
June 11
Diesel Club
Budapest
Hungary
www.dieselclub.hu
June 14
Z7
Pratteln
Switzerland
www.z-7.ch
June 16
Koko
London
United Kingdom
www.koko.uk.com
June 17
Academy 2
Manchester
United Kingdom
www.manchesteracademy.net
June 18
The Arches
Glasgow
United Kingdom
www.thearches.co.uk
FESTIVALS
July 23
High Voltage Festival
London
United Kingdom
www.highvoltagefestival.com
July 30
Finisterrae Festival
A Coruńa
Spain
t.b.a.
 
Neal says regarding the tour:

 Also, to avoid any confusion, I am going to have 2 bands, one in Europe and one in America. My reasons are many but the main one is that I want to be able to play this music in as many places as possible, and having bands available on each continent makes it possible to do more concerts. With the festivals being apart from the tour this is really the only way to make it work. Also, I love both these groups and this way I get to play with all of my favorite people!

God bless,
Neal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on March 04, 2011, 08:33:18 AM
Nice. If playing with two band means playing more concerts, then I'm all for it.  :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on March 04, 2011, 08:49:04 AM
I'll be at the NYC show!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on March 04, 2011, 09:05:00 AM
Nothing near Texas.   :-\
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Durg on March 04, 2011, 09:18:32 AM
For a second there I was thinking that MP and DT would be at the High Voltage Festival .... :corn .... but no.  That would be awkward.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on March 04, 2011, 09:20:53 AM
Oh snap... I should very much like to see the show in VA! It's the closest to me (about 3 hours away), so I may start saving up for the ticket and trip!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on March 04, 2011, 02:33:18 PM
Damn, I just realized he's coming to Mexico City. I never thought I would see Neal live, but I actually am!  :hat :hat
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on March 04, 2011, 06:08:00 PM
sweet, I hope I am still around in May to hit the LA show!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on March 04, 2011, 07:22:32 PM
It's your turn to road trip to N. Cal. for a show.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on March 04, 2011, 09:39:45 PM
i just got the calprog email and was just going to pm you to see which show you were hitting (I knew you wouldn't miss it).  I'm game for NoCal, but make sure you grab me a seat this time  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on March 05, 2011, 11:21:33 PM
^^^

What yesh said.  I'd rather see NMT2 than DT11.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on March 06, 2011, 12:11:48 AM
i may go to the NY show, im listening to Sola Scriptura right now  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on March 06, 2011, 01:12:33 AM
He's playing in MY TOWN!

Incredible, only... I have to perform myself that night...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on March 07, 2011, 08:44:50 AM
i just got the calprog email and was just going to pm you to see which show you were hitting (I knew you wouldn't miss it).  I'm game for NoCal, but make sure you grab me a seat this time  :biggrin:

^^^

What yesh said.  I'd rather see NMT2 than DT11.

:lol  I was pretty much joking.  I'm not sure if I'm going or not.  But now that I know there's interest, I'll consider it. 

That venue is actually pretty nice.  But it's all G.A., not seated.  However, there are some really prime spots to scope out.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on March 23, 2011, 11:15:55 AM
***EDIT:  SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT THAT YOU MAY NOT WANT TO HEAR BECAUSE IT WILL RUIN A COOL SURPRISE IN THE MUSIC FOR T2***

anyone seen this update from Neal Morse? It's a little preview of Testimony 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni1P4gYuNgc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni1P4gYuNgc)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on March 23, 2011, 11:28:09 AM
***SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT THAT YOU MAY NOT WANT TO HEAR BECAUSE IT WILL RUIN A COOL SURPRISE IN THE MUSIC FOR T2***


Very cool.  I edited your post to include a spoiler alert.  I mean, it should be obvious that it would contain spoilers, but that reprise is something that I can see people maybe not wanting to know about in advance.  I like how it worked into the next riff.  I'm really looking forward to this release.  I don't doubt that the music will be awesome.  I'm just a little apprehensive that the lyrical content may leave me feeling a little like:  "Eh, did this really need to be said after Testimony I?"  I'm sure Neal will do a good job, and I'm sure he has a lot to say, but I'm just gunshy of sequels that don't, on the surface, feel like they need to be done after seeing what Queensryche did to Mindcrime with the release of Mindcrime II.  Not only did it feel unnecessary, but it also somewhat spoiled the original, IMO.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on March 23, 2011, 11:30:34 AM
Saw that a while ago when it was posted on his FB page, cannot wait to hear this. :giddy:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on March 23, 2011, 11:34:41 AM
Thats ok Bosk, the spoiler alert was a good idea.

Anyway, i like what NM previewed. Im really looking forward to the new album. Honestly Testimony 1 is my least favorite of the ones i know (Testimony, One, ?, and Sola Scriptura) I still need to get Lifeline though. But T2 sounds interesting, and based on the preview, i might like it more than the first one
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: i_am_here_ on March 23, 2011, 11:39:57 AM
Cant wait to see him at the EMP in Seatle!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on March 23, 2011, 02:29:42 PM
i would love to see him and MP in NYC. im 95% sure im going
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on March 28, 2011, 09:42:37 PM
New radio interview with Mike and Neal about Testimony 2...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiLf-tY9R6M

SPOILER ALERT!!!





Neal got the guys in Spock's Beard to sing on T2 about the time when SB was starting to get big! It's a bit ironic/cool in that SB are singing about SB on Neal's album... but this just made me wet my pants even MORE than before about this album!





END SPOILER ALERT!!!



May 23rd, folks!!! Be ready!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on March 28, 2011, 10:23:59 PM
I would go to the NYC show, but there's a dredg/Dear Hunter show 4 days earlier and a Blackfield show 3 days earlier that take extreme precedence over Neal. Maybe next time he comes around.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on March 28, 2011, 10:26:52 PM
I would go to the NYC show, but there's a dredg/Dear Hunter show 4 days earlier and a Blackfield show 3 days earlier that take extreme precedence over Neal. Maybe next time he comes around.

But...It's Neal AND Mike and the original Testimony Tour Band!!! They played "Stranger In Your Soul" with real string instruments last time!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on March 28, 2011, 10:31:57 PM
I would go to the NYC show, but there's a dredg/Dear Hunter show 4 days earlier and a Blackfield show 3 days earlier that take extreme precedence over Neal. Maybe next time he comes around.

But...It's Neal AND Mike and the original Testimony Tour Band!!! They played "Stranger In Your Soul" with real string instruments last time!

-Marc.

Steven Wilson & Casey Crescenzo
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on March 28, 2011, 10:42:42 PM
I would go to the NYC show, but there's a dredg/Dear Hunter show 4 days earlier and a Blackfield show 3 days earlier that take extreme precedence over Neal. Maybe next time he comes around.

But...It's Neal AND Mike and the original Testimony Tour Band!!! They played "Stranger In Your Soul" with real string instruments last time!

-Marc.

Steven Wilson & Casey Crescenzo

I only know half of those names... :lol

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on March 28, 2011, 10:52:29 PM
You need to hear The Dear Hunter then.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on March 28, 2011, 11:15:06 PM
IT COMES OUT 3 DAYS BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 14, 2011, 10:58:56 PM
Just saw this information posted up at ProgArchvies.com -

Quote
CD 1
Part Six: (22:50)
1. Mercy Street
2. Overture No. 4
3. Time Changer
4. Jayda
Part Seven: (22:54)
5. Nighttime Collectors
6. Time has come Today
7. Jesus' Blood
8. The Truth Will Set You Free
Part Eight: (32:36)
9. Chance of a Lifetime
10. Jesus Bring Me Home
11. Road Dog Blues
12. It's For You
13. Crossing Over / Mercy Street Reprise

Total CD1: 78:52

CD2
1. Absolute Beginner (4:39)
2. Supernatural (6:11)
3. Seeds of Gold (25:59)

Total CD2: 36:51

Glad to see it continues with Part 6, and that there's another Overture, as well as new reprises. I wonder if track 8 is a nod to Roine and his TFK song of the same title?

Also - what is "Seeds Of Gold"? A cover? Can't wait to get this album!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 14, 2011, 11:12:32 PM
*SCREAMS WITH TEARS OF JOY*

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on April 14, 2011, 11:54:47 PM
Glad to see it continues with Part 6, and that there's another Overture, as well as new reprises.

Yes!  :clap:

I wonder if track 8 is a nod to Roine and his TFK song of the same title?

Given the subject matter of the album, I doubt it.  It is likely a reference to John 8:32:  "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Also - what is "Seeds Of Gold"? A cover?

Possible, but I don't think so.  I think it's part of the "story."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on April 15, 2011, 12:01:50 AM
wait, is this a new morse album?


yippppppeeeee, if so
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 15, 2011, 06:27:30 AM
wait, is this a new morse album?


yippppppeeeee, if so

I will slap you :biggrin: His new album comes out next month dude!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on April 15, 2011, 09:09:04 AM
wow, where have I been?
sounds awesome!!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 15, 2011, 11:40:32 AM
(http://www.progarchives.com/progressive_rock_discography_covers/712/cover_371041342011_r.jpg)

Here's the cover, too. It's the same tree, just about 8 years later, and Neal's son is also older too...looks pretty awesome and provides even greater continuity for the sequel!

Cannot wait for this - between DT, Steven Wilson, MMPLM and a few others - this is one of my most anticipated albums of the year!

EDIT - http://rock-and-prog.blogspot.com/2011/04/resenas-de-discos-neal-morse-testimony.html
Here's a review but in Spanish, so get your translator ready. Sounds like a very good review, and here's a list of the guests on the album.
Steve Morse
Alan Morse
Nick D'Virgilio
Paul Bielatowicz
Matthew Ward

Although not listed there, I'd hope that Dave Meros made an appearance as well, because I recall Neal saying he had the guys from SB do some cool GG-style vocals on a song on the album, so I'd hope that would have included one of my favorite bassists!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Metropolaris on April 15, 2011, 02:21:50 PM
Got tickets to see him on May 24th.  :biggrin:

Can't wait for the new album!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 16, 2011, 05:57:18 PM
I'm finding out new information everyday about this album! Apparently there is a special edition (a-duh) that features 2CDs and a Making-Of DVD documentary!

Quote
Progressive Rock's most successful solo artist releases a prog epic with depth that will dazzle and melodies that reach into the soul. Available as strictly limited 2CD + DVD box set with special artwork and as a 2CD set.
Disc 1 - Testimony 2, the main disc tells us the poignant story of Neal's life from the beginning of Spock's Beard through when he left the band in 2002. The brilliant conceptual piece consists of 13 songsĀ  in three sections each over twenty minutes long. Disc 2 consists of 3 great tracks. Two shorter songs and one 26:00 minute prog epic, "Seeds of Gold" which features a guitar solo by famed guitarist, Steve Morse.
This album marks the audio reunion of Spockā's Beard as it contains a tribute¯ to Spock's where Neal and the guys sing an elaborate vocal section that is reminiscent of the early days of the band.

Duration DVD:    70:00
DVD Content: The making of Testimony 2. An in depth look behind the scenes of the creative process involved in making this amazing record. Edited by Chad Hoerner.
Source: http://www.spincds.com/product.asp?id=9027931

Looks like 2 versions of this album will be available. What's weird is I don't think Radiant Records has a pre-order up for it yet, but you bet I will be ALL OVER IT when it's up. *cross fingers that it will be soon*... can't wait for the end of May when it comes out!!!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 16, 2011, 06:01:48 PM
I am so getting the biggest package.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on April 16, 2011, 06:41:49 PM
tried to pre-order, but appears it is outside of US.  guess I will wait till US sites offer it
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 16, 2011, 08:58:05 PM
I'm hoping Radiant Records offers some sort of super cool package with the 3-Disc set, like a cheap tour t-shirt or something signed by Mike and Neal (and maybe Randy too?). Neal likes to do those sorts of things through Radiant when he can. I definitely snagged the Whirlwind 3-Disc Set + So Many Roads 3-CD set package when it was up for pre-order back in 2009!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 16, 2011, 09:01:29 PM
I got an autographed copy of SSAB where he signed it and "Matthew 6:33" on it. Very awesome
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on April 16, 2011, 09:02:12 PM
thanks, Marc, I will keep my eye on that site
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 26, 2011, 10:44:48 PM
http://www.radiantrecords.com/

So, like a major fanboy, I went ahead and pre-ordered the 3-Disc Set + Neal's Book! It'll be an interesting read about Neal's life and, hopefully, some great insight into his life with SB and post-SB. I hope it's a very well-written and sincere look at his life, giving us stories he's never really told and things he's never really said about his former and current band mates and friends!

Also, I'm excited to be able to listen to the main album next Thursday, and legally too! I love that they're offering MP3 downloads to those who pre-order! I cannot wait to hear this album, especially "Time Changer" with guest vocalists Spock's Beard!!!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on April 26, 2011, 11:09:21 PM
Of course I ended up ordering the mega-pack. Hopefully I was soon enough to get this signed like Sola and Lifeline.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 26, 2011, 11:32:28 PM
At this point, I can't afford to preorder or anything. It's all good, I can wait. Marc, let me know your thoughts!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on April 26, 2011, 11:55:08 PM
can't afford it right now, but can't wait till I can
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 27, 2011, 12:17:30 AM
At this point, I can't afford to preorder or anything. It's all good, I can wait. Marc, let me know your thoughts!

Oh I definitely will. Depending on what time of day on May 5th the download is available, I may not be able to listen to the album, let alone review it, until the next day, but if it is early enough (like at 8 or 9am), then I should be able to give it a quick listen. I have work scheduled at 12 noon, and I'll be busy straight til 9 or 10pm. If all else fails, I will listen to it when I get home that night and post up some quick thoughts on the album.

Of course I ended up ordering the mega-pack. Hopefully I was soon enough to get this signed like Sola and Lifeline.

I didn't realize this! I guess it'll help because if I don't expect mine to be signed and they DO come signed, I will be a VERY happy camper! :tup

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on April 27, 2011, 12:22:54 AM
I'm thinking about getting the mega-pack, but I don't know. The actual CD is 20, which is steep anyway. But then again, I don't have Testimony 1. So I might wind up having to skip out on this for now. Or just check out an amazon mp3 version.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on April 27, 2011, 07:14:24 AM
Wow, this is not cheap.  But I gotta bite the bullet and do it...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on April 27, 2011, 07:17:34 AM
His stuff is never cheap at Radiant.  I'll probably just wait and buy through amazon, since a) it will be cheaper, and b) I have had bad luck with getting stuff from Radiant on time.  Sure, the mp3 downloads would eliminate the having to wait for it past the release date problem, but I just hate how they charge an arm and a leg at Radiant.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 27, 2011, 07:22:12 AM
Kev, for just the CD, how much do you think it will be?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on April 27, 2011, 07:31:39 AM
Yeah, this is not cheap at all. And you kinda get railroaded into buying the delux 40 dollar pack, since the regular edition is 22+shipping already. Huh.

I think Neal's probably not doing great financially. I remember reading that the Spock's Beard guys aren't at all, so I can't imagine things being any better for Neal. Anyway, I'd love to support his work, but I'm gonna have to wait and probably just wind up getting this from iTunes or something.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on April 27, 2011, 07:35:15 AM
If I get this new job (which is most likely, and pays $25/hr.), I'll definitely get the biggest bundle, to support Neal and to get some other cool stuff.

But yeah. It IS a lot.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on April 27, 2011, 08:05:46 AM
I think Neal's probably not doing great financially. I remember reading that the Spock's Beard guys aren't at all, so I can't imagine things being any better for Neal. Anyway, I'd love to support his work, but I'm gonna have to wait and probably just wind up getting this from iTunes or something.

I've often wondered how he makes ends meet.  I'm not an Inner Circle member, so I don't have a lot of inside scoop others may have, but I'm guessing there are a few things that give him an edge over the Spock's guys financially:  I think I recall hearing that he rents out his studio to other bands.  I'm not sure, but he may also work as a producer or engineer on some stuff for smaller bands, which would be a bit of extra income.  And think about it:  He's in Nashville, which has two benefits.  (1) It has a thriving music scene with lots of musicians needing studio time and people to help work on albums.  (2) It is cheaper to live there than L.A.  I'm not sure, but Neal may also sell his worship music to churches.  Personally, I have a lot of problems with that.  But there are plenty of churches that use that sort of thing, so it may be a nice extra income stream.  And unlike putting out a pop music CD that needs to be marketed and distributed through a label, for worship music, I imagine you can probably save costs by putting out the CD's more cheaply and doing more direct distribution, cutting out a lot of the costs.  Those are just some educated guesses, but if correct, that could help explain why Neal and his kids don't look malnourished or anything.  :lol  (and I think his wife may work as well)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on April 27, 2011, 08:27:21 AM
Kev, for just the CD, how much do you think it will be?

I would guess amazon and iTunes would have it for somewhere around 15 or 16 bucks (since it is basically one CD plus a short second one, so not a true double disc), as opposed to 22 PLUS shipping at Radiant.  I understand the whole "support the artist" mentality, but not when the prices are way too high.  Supporting an artist doesn't mean I should have to grab my ankles for them, right? ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on April 27, 2011, 03:43:43 PM
Just pre-ordered the bundle. Hopefully I'll be one of the 200.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on April 29, 2011, 04:29:38 PM
I could be wrong, but I don't think he's struggling financially.  Being in the inner circle, I hear about stuff going on in the monthly newsletter.  That dude goes on so many vacations, does so many worship trips in Europe (where I doubt he's making a profit), etc.

I went with the super package, had to wait because preorders started during mortgage week, so it probably won't be signed, but I don't care about that.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on April 30, 2011, 08:31:35 PM
It's only 13.98 at amazon.com.  This is for the regular 2 cd version.  The special edition (2cd + dvd) is only 3 dollars more.  I've bought his new stuff from amazon before, I don't always go through radiant.  I was suckered in with the advance digital download, and I really wanted the book (which I haven't seen available anywhere else yet).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 02, 2011, 08:33:49 AM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Y8WOSA/ref=dm_sp_alb

Looks like the second disc of the album is now available for MP3 download on Amazon! Just bought "Seeds Of Gold" for $0.99!!! It's downloading now...can't wait to listen to this 26 minute EPIC... review to follow sometime today...

EDIT - Actually, I bought the whole 2nd disc (I mean, it's only 3 songs, $2.97...can't beat that price for over 36 minutes of music) just so I can listen to the complete album, albeit in MP3 form, by week's end when the RadiantRecords download becomes available on Thursday!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 02, 2011, 09:14:56 AM
I also just bought the second disc for $2.97 from amazon.  The first two songs sounded pretty cool, but I am pretty bored halfway through this long epic.  I am already looking at the time, wondering when it is gonna be finished.  Not a good sign.  Too many keyboards, not enough guitar, and none of the vocal melodies are grabbing me.  But we'll see...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 02, 2011, 09:19:55 AM
Just got it myself. Coolio. Why is it already on amazon? That has to be a mistake.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 02, 2011, 09:22:47 AM
Naturally, as soon as I submit that last post, the songs gets a lot more guitar heavy in the second half. :lol :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 02, 2011, 09:23:13 AM
I also just bought the second disc for $2.97 from amazon.  The first two songs sounded pretty cool, but I am pretty bored halfway through this long epic.  I am already looking at the time, wondering when it is gonna be finished.  Not a good sign.  Too many keyboards, not enough guitar, and none of the vocal melodies are grabbing me.  But we'll see...

Wait until you hear Steve Morse's guitar solo near the end!!!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 02, 2011, 09:28:42 AM
Seeds of Gold is amazing so far. I have to leave so I will give it a full listen later, and I'll buy the other two later as well. Sounds really awesome.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 02, 2011, 09:31:53 AM
I'm listening to Absolute Beginner now. I like it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 02, 2011, 09:44:16 AM
I am taking my wife to the NYC show. She has to be as big a Neal Morse fan as their is. She gets so emotional listening to his music, she often cry's. She is like a kid waiting for Christmas. We never rarely go to shows together because she has little interest in concerts. I usually go with my guy friends so, this night is going to be special. I'm sure she will weep during the show at least a couple times.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 02, 2011, 09:51:33 AM
"Seeds Of Gold" - a typical Neal Morse epic with multiple parts/movements, and the lyrics aren't has terribly in-your-face as some of his recent albums! It sounds like something he could have done with SB or TA, lyrically speaking, AND musically speaking. I will agree with Kev that there are a lot of keyboards in the piece, but I like keyboards, especially when Neal plays them. If you want guitar in this song, you've got it near the end with Steve Morse's epic solo, followed by the big recapitulation of the opening themes, in only the way Neal does! :tup
Mike and Randy do a great job backing up Neal, but I haven't had much of a CLOSE listen to really hear their parts, but it sounds like they're really locked in to Neal's music, as usual, and provide a great rhythm section for Neal's palette of sounds.

"Absolute Beginner" - Nice opening, and it reminds of me so many of Neal's single-sounding rock songs (like "King Jesus" from One), and this time it's complete with a fade-out! lol It's very listen-able and fun and positive and uplifting, and I love that Neal can write great music in this vein! So energetic and rocking, you can't help but smile and nod along to this song all the way to the end!

"Supernatural" - The opening guitar reminds me of some of his Pre-Testimony solo songs, which is a good thing. He had some great songs on his first two solo albums! This is another good song and the synth-motif that comes back is very hum-able and catchy! Neal knows how to get a melody stuck in your head!

Upon first impression, this whole disc, even though it's 3 tracks, I might have to rank above the entirety of Lifeline and it's 7 tracks. Something about that album never really stuck with me, but these 3 tracks sound very fresh and powerful to me whereas most of Lifeline sounded very rehashed to me at the time of its release.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 02, 2011, 09:52:25 AM
for some reason "seeds of gold" is showing purchased, but not downloading to HD.  any ideas why?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 02, 2011, 10:04:26 AM
Man, that's annoying!  I'm too Dutch to buy the 3 songs, even though it's only 2.97.  I've already dished out a lot of money for this.  I can only guess that it's a mistake to be on their when the release date is weeks away, but who knows.  Guess I'll wait.  In a few days I'll have the disc one download from Radiant and that will tide me over until I get the whole package in the mail.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 02, 2011, 10:07:07 AM
played around long enough and got all the songs....enjoying so far.  will have to continue to spin
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nekov on May 02, 2011, 10:45:16 AM
I also just bought the second disc for $2.97 from amazon.  The first two songs sounded pretty cool, but I am pretty bored halfway through this long epic.  I am already looking at the time, wondering when it is gonna be finished.  Not a good sign.  Too many keyboards, not enough guitar, and none of the vocal melodies are grabbing me.  But we'll see...

Wait until you hear Steve Morse's guitar solo near the end!!!

-Marc.

What???? Steve Morse plays in this album? Is that a fail from your post or is this really true?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 02, 2011, 11:35:00 AM
I also just bought the second disc for $2.97 from amazon.  The first two songs sounded pretty cool, but I am pretty bored halfway through this long epic.  I am already looking at the time, wondering when it is gonna be finished.  Not a good sign.  Too many keyboards, not enough guitar, and none of the vocal melodies are grabbing me.  But we'll see...

Wait until you hear Steve Morse's guitar solo near the end!!!

-Marc.

What???? Steve Morse plays in this album? Is that a fail from your post or is this really true?

Straight from Neal Morse's front page on www.nealmorse.com:
Quote
Disc 2 consists of 3 great tracks. Two shorter songs and one 26:00 minute prog epic, "Seeds of Gold" which features a guitar solo by famed guitarist, Steve Morse.
Total Time: 36:51

Definitely not a fail on my part. Trust me, I've been looking forward to this album for MONTHS now, and I've pretty much read all I could about it, including reviews over the last couple weeks.

BTW, Spock's Beard is on the main album, on the song "Time Changer":
Quote
This album marks the audio reunion of Spock's Beard as it contains a "tribute" to Spock's where Neal and the guys sing an elaborate vocal section that is reminiscent of the early days of the band.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nekov on May 02, 2011, 02:47:20 PM
I also just bought the second disc for $2.97 from amazon.  The first two songs sounded pretty cool, but I am pretty bored halfway through this long epic.  I am already looking at the time, wondering when it is gonna be finished.  Not a good sign.  Too many keyboards, not enough guitar, and none of the vocal melodies are grabbing me.  But we'll see...

Wait until you hear Steve Morse's guitar solo near the end!!!

-Marc.

What???? Steve Morse plays in this album? Is that a fail from your post or is this really true?

Straight from Neal Morse's front page on www.nealmorse.com:
Quote
Disc 2 consists of 3 great tracks. Two shorter songs and one 26:00 minute prog epic, "Seeds of Gold" which features a guitar solo by famed guitarist, Steve Morse.
Total Time: 36:51

Definitely not a fail on my part. Trust me, I've been looking forward to this album for MONTHS now, and I've pretty much read all I could about it, including reviews over the last couple weeks.

BTW, Spock's Beard is on the main album, on the song "Time Changer":
Quote
This album marks the audio reunion of Spock's Beard as it contains a "tribute" to Spock's where Neal and the guys sing an elaborate vocal section that is reminiscent of the early days of the band.

-Marc.

Oh my, that is such great news. I want this album right now!!!! :caffeine:

Sorry I doubted you Marc, I promise I won't make the same mistake next time.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 02, 2011, 05:30:21 PM
You know, the new disc almost sounds like Neal's returning to secular music in my opinion. Sure, the spirituality is still there, but the lyrics remind me much more of something from like BAF than any of Neal's recent solo stuff.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 02, 2011, 07:38:35 PM
You know, the new disc almost sounds like Neal's returning to secular music in my opinion. Sure, the spirituality is still there, but the lyrics remind me much more of something from like BAF than any of Neal's recent solo stuff.

I feel the SAME exact way. It's no less secular than his SB albums or his first two solo albums. I mean, come on, songs like "The Light", "The Doorway" and "The Good Don't Last" are clearly metaphors for religious ideas and beliefs, just not without blatant references like his post-SB solo albums. It seems like the lyrics on the 2nd Disc are more along those lines, and musically, they're pretty fresh to my ears. Sure, they have that signature Neal Morse touch to them, but it's Neal, what else can you expect? It just sounds like Neal with some new ideas while injecting his own sound into them!

However, to balance it out, I fully expect the main album to be riddled with "Jesus" and "God" amongst the lyrics, but I'm okay with that - it's HIS story, and HIS life, and he wants to tell it... and I am willing to listen.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 02, 2011, 07:55:46 PM

Oh my, that is such great news. I want this album right now!!!! :caffeine:

Sorry I doubted you Marc, I promise I won't make the same mistake next time.

Oh it's all good, Nekov! No worries. I was actually quite surprised at BOTH of those cameos, but less so about Steve Morse considering their collaboration on the MMPLM album (Neal Morse, Steve Morse, Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue, and Casey McPherson)... but what DOES surprise me is that Steve's contribution is not on the main album but rather the 26 minute epic on the 2nd disc!

Cannot wait to get the MP3 from Radiant in 3 days! I'm going to wake up early to download it and hopefully listen to it before I have to go to work at noon on Thursday!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 03, 2011, 04:10:42 AM
Wow, this is not cheap.  But I gotta bite the bullet and do it...
I did.

Went for the best package. 50 bucks!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 03, 2011, 04:12:10 AM
played around long enough and got all the songs....enjoying so far.  will have to continue to spin
How did you manage that? I am jealous.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ShadowWalker on May 03, 2011, 07:55:12 AM
Listening to the main CD right now. Got it playing as I am here at work, so not necessarily giving it my full attention. So far, I am enjoying what I am hearing...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 03, 2011, 08:13:39 AM
Seeds of Gold is pretty good. Hope it grows on me some more. It's not bad, but it hasn't hit me yet.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 03, 2011, 08:15:15 AM
Seeds of Gold hit me, and pretty damn hard. Something about the lyrics.

I've listened to it like 100 times already.

The production is bad, though. These are just demos, I hope, right?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 03, 2011, 08:19:08 AM
Admittedly, I was half asleep and about to hit a food coma when I listened to it...so I can't remember much of it. :lol

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ShadowWalker on May 03, 2011, 09:06:38 AM
Seeds of Gold hit me, and pretty damn hard. Something about the lyrics.

I've listened to it like 100 times already.

The production is bad, though. These are just demos, I hope, right?

Do you have a link that I could hear one of the short songs and compare it to the CDs I am listening to right now?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 03, 2011, 09:30:25 AM
Seeds of Gold for sure is not a demo (I have the demo version on an inner circle disc).  I wouldn’t be surprised if the production isn’t totally top notch.  In my opinion, the songs on Lifeline’s bonus disc had production not nearly as good as the main disc as well.  Having now heard the 3 songs on disc 2, I think disc one will be quite a bit better.  I’m not disappointed with them, but Neal’s songwriting I think is better in conceptual pieces and he was probably “in the zone” when writing T2.  These are random songs not written during those writing sessions.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 03, 2011, 10:34:14 AM
Ha ha ha, boy am I stupid. . .  I was on my lunchbreak, checking e-mails and stuff.  I decided to reorganize emails. . .  Somehow I accidentally deleted my e-mail from Radiant records that included my link and password for downloading Testimony 2. . .  And of course I had just emptied the trash can, so it is irretrievable and gone forever.  The ironic thing is, I was just thinking about forwarding it to my work e-mail to make sure I didn’t lose it.  When I went to it to forward it, it was gone!!!

(deep breath)  I guess on the bright side I have more to look forward to when it arrives in the mail!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 03, 2011, 02:31:39 PM
May I ask how you all are listening to the new CD? I want to listen to it!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 03, 2011, 02:39:59 PM
May I ask how you all are listening to the new CD? I want to listen to it!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Y8WOSA/ref=dm_sp_alb

Looks like the second disc of the album is now available for MP3 download on Amazon! Just bought "Seeds Of Gold" for $0.99!!! It's downloading now...can't wait to listen to this 26 minute EPIC... review to follow sometime today...

EDIT - Actually, I bought the whole 2nd disc (I mean, it's only 3 songs, $2.97...can't beat that price for over 36 minutes of music) just so I can listen to the complete album, albeit in MP3 form, by week's end when the RadiantRecords download becomes available on Thursday!

-Marc.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ShadowWalker on May 03, 2011, 03:33:46 PM
May I ask how you all are listening to the new CD? I want to listen to it!

As a part-time, noncompensated music journalist who contributes to a website when I feel so inspired, I received a promo copy (2CD version, no artwork) in prep for an interview I will be doing with Neal. I will have to pony-up for a CD so I can get the artwork at some point...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: lonestar on May 03, 2011, 03:53:24 PM
Thanks guys, I appreciate all the appreciation. :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 03, 2011, 03:53:43 PM
Supernatural is an amazing, addictive song!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 03, 2011, 04:07:18 PM
played around long enough and got all the songs....enjoying so far.  will have to continue to spin
How did you manage that? I am jealous.

just all songs from disc 2 via amazon...are you still jealous?   :-*
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 03, 2011, 09:40:26 PM
So I've been listening to T2-Disc 2 a LOT in the last day or so and it's just growing on me more and more, and "Seeds Of Gold" is fastly becoming one of my favorite Neal Morse epics!

I really cannot wait to hear the album on Thursday! I don't think I've been this excited about a new Neal Morse album in a LONG time. Then again, the MMPLM project has me on the edge of my seat!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 03, 2011, 09:47:37 PM
so all songs on disc 2 are for DL on Amazon.. and i get a free download of disc 1 through the pre order on the 5th? im pumped!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 03, 2011, 10:06:33 PM
so all songs on disc 2 are for DL on Amazon.. and i get a free download of disc 1 through the pre order on the 5th? im pumped!

I know, right?! It's perfect! I was sad that I wouldn't be able to hear Disc 2 until I got the physical album, but I'm glad I stumbled upon Amazon's uploading of the 2nd disc on MP3 download! What a wonderful coincidence!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 04, 2011, 05:33:31 AM
played around long enough and got all the songs....enjoying so far.  will have to continue to spin
How did you manage that? I am jealous.

just all songs from disc 2 via amazon...are you still jealous?   :-*
Nope, I'm listening to it as we speak!
:tick2:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 04, 2011, 04:46:26 PM
So do you think ill be able to DL the first Disc at 12:01? i REALLLLY want to hear it
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 04, 2011, 04:52:00 PM
So Marc (and others who have been listening), it seems from what I've read that only disk 1 is a continuation of the Testimony storyline and that the songs on disk 2 are completely unrelated, is that correct?  (I preordered and have not downloaded anything yet--waiting for the DL tomorrow and snail mail for my hard copy)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 04, 2011, 05:04:01 PM
So Marc (and others who have been listening), it seems from what I've read that only disk 1 is a continuation of the Testimony storyline and that the songs on disk 2 are completely unrelated, is that correct?  (I preordered and have not downloaded anything yet--waiting for the DL tomorrow and snail mail for my hard copy)

Indeed, Testimony 2 is a (near-)direct continuation of the first Testimony album, and it even begins with "Part 6", and continues with "Part 7" and "Part 8". And as per Mike's and Randy's suggestions, Neal included themes/motifs from the first album in the new one, as heard in various YouTube sneak-peaks that have floated around in the last month.

The second disc consists of 3 original songs that are unrelated to the Testimony storyline/concept, and you can read all my thoughts on it on the previous page. Actually I am listening to "Seeds of Gold" as I type, here at work, bored out of my mind :lol

I was also wondering if the Radiant download will be available after midnight tonight! If not, I will wake up early tomorrow morning to see if it'll be available between 8-9am EST. I've been listening to the first Testimony album in my car over the last couple days in anticipation, and up to my drive to work today, I finished "Part 4", which has some of the best music Neal has written in it. When I leave work tonight, I will be listening to "Part 5" on the drive home.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 04, 2011, 09:05:39 PM
"Seeds Of Gold" is absolutely amazing! I can't get enough of it!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 04, 2011, 09:19:37 PM
"Seeds Of Gold" is absolutely amazing! I can't get enough of it!
:tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 04, 2011, 09:39:26 PM
"Seeds Of Gold" is absolutely amazing! I can't get enough of it!
:tup

:tup :tup

I doubly agree. And the opening/closing refrains are just hauntingly great. "Seeds Of Gold" just reeks of Neal's awesomeness. I dare say it's his third best multi-movement, side-long epic ever (behind BAF's "Stranger" and "Duel"). It definitely beats out "The Great Nothing" and "The Water" and "So Many Roads". I really hope he plays this song on the upcoming tour!!!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: reneranucci on May 05, 2011, 04:30:03 AM
Did the download work for anybody? Mine keeps asking me the username and password after I write the info that came with my order from Radiant.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 05, 2011, 06:48:36 AM
Did the download work for anybody? Mine keeps asking me the username and password after I write the info that came with my order from Radiant.
I don't know if its not ready for download yet but I also can't get the "user" "password" issue solved.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 05, 2011, 06:51:38 AM
Yeah, still nothing :(

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 05, 2011, 07:44:59 AM
It's working now! Time for the first listen...oh boy!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 05, 2011, 09:38:21 AM
It's out?!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 05, 2011, 09:39:10 AM
I'm at Jayda in my first listen. :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 05, 2011, 09:56:50 AM
I'm just on the intro section of Mercy Street, and I already have chills from the way that immediate reprise is done.  :lol

Kinda bitter about the fact that the advance preview is only for disk 1.  I know it's only a few bucks for disk 2 on Amazon, but given that I've already given Radiant Records almost $50 for the full package, I'm not inclined to spend a penny more.

Oh, and Nick, you BADLY need to update the release date thread.  I was looking for a quick reference to remind me when the release date is for this album and was annoyed when it wasn't there.  >:(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 05, 2011, 10:00:52 AM
Did you ever post the album with the release date? Because I have updated that thread recently...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kingshmegland on May 05, 2011, 10:03:22 AM
Am I reading that right on Amazon that the download for the whole album is $2.97?!?!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 05, 2011, 10:05:44 AM
For disk 2 (3 songs).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kingshmegland on May 05, 2011, 10:07:37 AM
For disk 2 (3 songs).

Thanks.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 05, 2011, 10:13:27 AM
For disk 2 (3 songs).

Which, just as a reminder, is about 35 minutes worth of music.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 05, 2011, 10:28:57 AM
listening to Disk 1 of testimony 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! see you in an hour :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 05, 2011, 10:30:15 AM
Here's my initial thoughts that I posted earlier on Neal's forums:


So far so GREAT, I'm halfway through "The Truth Will Set You Free"! I'm loving all the nods to the first Testimony album and Spock's Beard songs in here, and if I'm not mistaken, the ending of "Jesus' Blood" sounds a bit like something from Genesis' The Lamb. (Later I realized that theme sounds like "Hairless Heart").

There is some POWERFUL new music in here, and it's definitely some of Neal's best in recent years. He definitely hasn't run out of ideas and this is a worthy successor to the first Testimony album!

Anyways, discuss away! I'll only get through one listen today before I have to get ready for work, but I will try to listen to it again tonight after work! If not, there will definitely be MORE listens over the weekend!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 05, 2011, 11:13:24 AM
Marc Marc Marc so excited
He so excited


Goodness, can't wait to get this.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkEternalNight on May 05, 2011, 03:06:06 PM
I like it so far, wish it wasn't 128kps though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 05, 2011, 07:29:05 PM
I couldn't figure out how to burn the disc without the delay in between each song. Is it possible?
Oh well, it will work for now till I get my real deal.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 05, 2011, 07:32:52 PM
I couldn't figure out how to burn the disc without the delay in between each song. Is it possible?
Oh well, it will work for now till I get my real deal.

It is, but I've ever done it successfully using iTunes.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 05, 2011, 07:41:24 PM
I couldn't figure out how to burn the disc without the delay in between each song. Is it possible?
Oh well, it will work for now till I get my real deal.

It is, but I've ever done it successfully using iTunes.
I tried using I tunes to download it to begin with was unable to figure out how? Couldn't seem to load it into I tunes.I just downloaded through Windows whatever.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 05, 2011, 10:39:30 PM
I'm confused about the plot.  The fact that it starts at "Part 5" seems to indicate that the events take place after those on Testimony.  But listening to the lyrics, it seems like random stuff that is scattered throughout the Testimony period.  Any help?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 05, 2011, 10:42:00 PM
My very uneducated guess, as I don't pay attention to lyrics that much, is that in telling his story since the end of the first Testimony album he is revisiting older stories as we always reflect on our own lives.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 05, 2011, 10:52:09 PM
As usual with long epics, "Seeds of Gold" took a few listens to really sink in, but I am now really digging it.  And while I haven't really focused on the lyrics at all (I almost always get into the music first, with any artist, before diving into the lyrics), it doesn't seem to be overly religious at all.  Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 05, 2011, 11:47:10 PM
As usual with long epics, "Seeds of Gold" took a few listens to really sink in, but I am now really digging it.  And while I haven't really focused on the lyrics at all (I almost always get into the music first, with any artist, before diving into the lyrics), it doesn't seem to be overly religious at all.  Am I wrong?

It's as religious as the stuff on Bridge Across Forever. It's not upfront, but if you really think about it, it's there.

The lyrics hit me right away and are the reason I love it so much. I also love the ending though. The "surprise last note" at the very, very end is really something.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 06, 2011, 04:22:15 AM
Portnoy confirmed via twitter that the entire first disc will be played on tour. I had assumed as much but it's good to know.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 06, 2011, 05:54:13 AM
As usual with long epics, "Seeds of Gold" took a few listens to really sink in, but I am now really digging it.  And while I haven't really focused on the lyrics at all (I almost always get into the music first, with any artist, before diving into the lyrics), it doesn't seem to be overly religious at all.  Am I wrong?
It took me one listen to realize its one of my favorite solo Neal pieces.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 06, 2011, 06:26:43 AM
How are the two non-epics on disc 2? I haven't bought them yet but I probably will some time soon (although due to my roulette, I may just hold over til I get the actual album).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 06, 2011, 08:10:54 AM
I'm confused about the plot.  The fact that it starts at "Part 5" seems to indicate that the events take place after those on Testimony.  But listening to the lyrics, it seems like random stuff that is scattered throughout the Testimony period.  Any help?

My very uneducated guess, as I don't pay attention to lyrics that much, is that in telling his story since the end of the first Testimony album he is revisiting older stories as we always reflect on our own lives.

So far, I seem to find it a bit lacking.  Because it does not cover new ground in terms of the subject matter, it doesn't convey a big "Oomph!" at the end for me like the original.  And while I like the music, including the incredible job he did of incorporating some great reprises in with plenty of new stuff, it almost has a feeling of this just being the leftovers from the first session.  Or maybe I'm just not getting it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 06, 2011, 08:29:51 AM
I'm feeling like Neal needs to reign his fans back in, spiritually speaking. I'd honestly be surprised if most of his fans are even Christians, and people are getting a bit tired of hearing the same message over and over again. The Whirlwind was a great step for him in the right direction, because the first 80 percent of it was secular enough that all of his fans, even his non-Christian ones, could connect with it on some kind of level. "Seeds of Gold" is the same way; it's got that Bridge Across Forever effect to it that spreads the message without beating the listener over the head with it. And it's so much better than anything on the first disc imo.

Looking more forward to what he does with his other project with Mike Portnoy and Steve Morse now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 06, 2011, 08:44:03 AM
I'm feeling like Neal needs to reign his fans back in, spiritually speaking. I'd honestly be surprised if most of his fans are even Christians, and people are getting a bit tired of hearing the same message over and over again.

It's not that at all.  It's just that I'm not feeling he executed the message well on this album.  But then again, it took a couple of years for Testimony to really click, so...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 06, 2011, 08:47:51 AM
Eh, I think Lifeline more-or-less said it. Many, though not all, of Neal's fans aren't going to go for the message unless the music is there because, let's face it, few people can pump out prog epics like he can.

You might not agree now, but I'll be curious to hear what your take on it is once you hear how much better Seeds of Gold is than anything he's done recently. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 06, 2011, 08:49:00 AM
I'm feeling like Neal needs to reign his fans back in, spiritually speaking. I'd honestly be surprised if most of his fans are even Christians, and people are getting a bit tired of hearing the same message over and over again.

I don't think its been the same message over and over?
Question Mark was about the Ark Of The Covenant, and living under the law.
Sola Scriptura was about Martin Luther and the hippocracy of the early church.
Testimony is how Neal found the Lord.
 Sure, he does use a lot of the same themes, but his lyrics are ok by me.
Some of his songs are about the pain of life without the Lord, while others speak of the joy to be had with him. He is a Christian artist in a genre where they don't really exist, so he is bringing his message to many who don't receive it any other way, and that to me is cool.
Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 06, 2011, 09:12:37 AM
PC, that is why I figured.  Nothing in the long epic has struck me as being overly religious. 

I agree with tick in that the message is not always the same, just because the lyrics are always spiritual/religious.  That is like saying that a band that writes political lyrics writes about the same stuff on every album.  It is possible to have a broad range of topics to write about within something that seems narrow on the surface.

Also, does Steve Morse play on the regular album?  Please say yes...;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 06, 2011, 10:04:50 AM
I'm feeling like Neal needs to reign his fans back in, spiritually speaking. I'd honestly be surprised if most of his fans are even Christians, and people are getting a bit tired of hearing the same message over and over again.

It's not that at all.  It's just that I'm not feeling he executed the message well on this album.  But then again, it took a couple of years for Testimony to really click, so...
I don't know Bosk, the story about his daughter and her healing is just wow to me! and the amount of personal info he shares is amazing in talking about his state when he found out she was healed. The whole thing kind of blows me away.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 06, 2011, 10:40:02 AM
I'm not saying there weren't powerful moments.  I teared up during Jayda as well.  But at the end of the day, like everything else on Testimony 2, it was all covered the first time around and only gave a few more specific details, so I didn't feel the emotional impact of the entire album as a piece of music as much.  Does that make sense?

With T1, there are those powerful moments.  But there is also the climax of all those powerful moments fitting into the larger story with the big resolution.

T2 tries to do the same thing.  But the larger story is simply the same exact larger story as T1, so there are still those individual powerful moments without the big payoff in the end.  I dunno.  Maybe I just feel that way because I was expecting this to be a continuation rather than a retelling, and I need to get over my preconception to really enjoy what is going on.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on May 06, 2011, 10:53:29 AM
Thanks for clearing that up Bosk. I was thinking of a 'story after' T1 as well, but a retelling makes it a bit different indeed.

Oh well, I'll have to wait a while before listening to the album anyway.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 06, 2011, 10:58:12 AM
I'm not saying there weren't powerful moments.  I teared up during Jayda as well.  But at the end of the day, like everything else on Testimony 2, it was all covered the first time around and only gave a few more specific details, so I didn't feel the emotional impact of the entire album as a piece of music as much.  Does that make sense?

With T1, there are those powerful moments.  But there is also the climax of all those powerful moments fitting into the larger story with the big resolution.

T2 tries to do the same thing.  But the larger story is simply the same exact larger story as T1, so there are still those individual powerful moments without the big payoff in the end.  I dunno.  Maybe I just feel that way because I was expecting this to be a continuation rather than a retelling, and I need to get over my preconception to really enjoy what is going on.
I'm probably guilty of being too big a fan and not analyzing it too much. I like what I hear, even if much of it is expounding on events in T1. I think its going to sound great live as well.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 06, 2011, 04:32:48 PM
So, here's a question.  I've been undecided about this for years.  Which is the most awesome 3-song stretch on T1?
(a)  Somber Days, Long Story, It's All I Can Do  OR
(b)  In The Middle, The Storm Before The Calm, Oh, to Feel Him
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 06, 2011, 04:34:56 PM
B, although A is a good contender. B just packs so much into 3 songs, especiallly TSBTC
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 06, 2011, 07:44:25 PM
It seems like a quote from Randy was along the lines of T2 taking off where T1 left off. . .  Continuation-wise it doesn't seem like it fits.  But, if the first testimony album had a third disc, it's not inconceivable that he would have gone into detail on things that led to his conversion (Jayda) and things he had to do after (leaving Spock's).  I'm just speculating, really.  I've only heard two songs so far (whatever I've seen on youtube).  I admit, one of those is "It's For You", and lyrically, it's nothing new.  Musically, it's frickin amazing!  Even if T2 is just a different version of T1 (same story told differently with new music) I think I'll be pleased.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 06, 2011, 08:01:18 PM
Got a promotional credit for an MP3 download from Amazon... so the song I decided to get was an easy choice...

Seeds of Gold FTFW.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 06, 2011, 10:25:41 PM
So, here's a question.  I've been undecided about this for years.  Which is the most awesome 3-song stretch on T1?
(a)  Somber Days, Long Story, It's All I Can Do  OR
(b)  In The Middle, The Storm Before The Calm, Oh, to Feel Him

(a) is slightly better of the two, but Sing It High, Moving in My Heart and I am Willing might be better than both.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 07, 2011, 06:02:56 AM
So, here's a question.  I've been undecided about this for years.  Which is the most awesome 3-song stretch on T1?
(a)  Somber Days, Long Story, It's All I Can Do  OR
(b)  In The Middle, The Storm Before The Calm, Oh, to Feel Him
B
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 07, 2011, 08:37:00 AM
So, here's a question.  I've been undecided about this for years.  Which is the most awesome 3-song stretch on T1?
(a)  Somber Days, Long Story, It's All I Can Do  OR
(b)  In The Middle, The Storm Before The Calm, Oh, to Feel Him

A for me.  Although if B would have been I am Willing/In the Middle/The Storm I may have gone for that.  My personal favorite 3 songs in a row on Testimony are Overture 1/California Nights/Colder in the Sun.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 07, 2011, 05:18:48 PM
Just came to say, while listening to it, that "Seeds Of Gold" is quite possibly one of Neal's best epics, EVER, and his best long-song since "Stranger In Your Soul". The lyrics are emotionally moving and VERY sing-along-able and memorable! He just has this way of writing melodies that just latch onto your heart and soul and mind and lyrically, it's just great!

My favorite part has to be the "Homecoming" section in the middle, especially the lyric:
"But now that you're older you're like the new husband
Who lifts up the veil from off of his bride
And finds that she's not quite the young girl that he had in mind."

It sounds so depressing but the chorus is just fascinating:
"But there's a homecoming beyond the danger zone
Where you'll never feel alone
And tomorrow feels like home
Yes, there's a homecoming when you'll admit you're wrong
WHen you're tired and you've lived too long
Come on home where you belong"

Which then goes into the EPIC Steve Morse guitar solo before flowing into the closing recap of the opening themes with yet another catchy chorus:
"Look away to a place where this war is worlds away
Where it's all about you and it's not about me
To a place where you know you'll be okay
And it's all about you and you get it for free
And I have my whole life in front of me"

I really hope Neal and his band(s) play this on the upcoming tour! I won't be seeing him, but knowing that he'll likely record a show for DVD/CD release, I'd love to hear it performed live!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 07, 2011, 05:39:34 PM
So Many Roads is my favorite epic of his, even above anything with Transatlantic.  Since Lifeline came out, it's pretty much been my theme song.  But I like Seeds of Gold about equally with his other epics (Stranger, Great Nothing, etc).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 07, 2011, 08:08:55 PM
So Many Roads is my favorite epic of his, even above anything with Transatlantic.  Since Lifeline came out, it's pretty much been my theme song.  But I like Seeds of Gold about equally with his other epics (Stranger, Great Nothing, etc).

"So Many Roads" is pretty good, if a bit lengthy. I'd say it's definitely Top 5 and it's right there with his other biographical epic, "The Great Nothing", tied for 5th (behind "Seeds Of Gold", "Duel With The Devil" and "Stranger In Your Soul"). Neal knows how to write amazing 20-30 minute epics!

I think "So Many Roads" definitely saved Lifeline for me, and it's a great way to climax the album and then close with the soaring "Fly High". The title track is pretty good too, but over-all I felt the tracklist of the album was very SB-ish, particularly like V - open with an epic, climax with a multi-movement epic, and toss a few shorter songs in between. I think I enjoyed the covers a bit more than the shorter songs between the epics, but then again, I love it when Mike and Neal do covers of ANYTHING - they know SO much music together, they could probably record/perform covers for the rest of their lives and be happy!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 07, 2011, 08:59:57 PM
About to send off an email to Neal's PR guy in hopes of an interview, wish me luck!

Edit: As long as schedules can match up this will be happening. :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 07, 2011, 09:30:33 PM
Wait, "The Great Nothing" is biographical?  I thought it was about Kevin Gilbert. ???
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 08, 2011, 05:37:39 AM
So Many Roads is awesome. It's super-progressive and has some great moments. I can see why some people may not like it that much, though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 08, 2011, 08:47:41 AM
Wait, "The Great Nothing" is biographical?  I thought it was about Kevin Gilbert. ???

Hmmm, maybe it is. I'll have watch The Making Of V again to see what Neal has to say about it but you might be right. Either way, it's a bio-epic song, as is "So Many Roads" in a similar manner. However, "Seeds Of Gold" doesn't seem so inherently biographical, but more philosophical and allegorical like DWTD and SIYS.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 09, 2011, 06:59:17 AM
2 Mondays from today!!! Neal in NYC!!!!
I can't wait for the show! :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 09, 2011, 01:53:15 PM
Surprised at the love for So Many Roads, I think it's a chore to get through and one of the low points of Lifeline along with Fly High.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on May 09, 2011, 02:33:21 PM
Surprised at the love for So Many Roads, I think it's a chore to get through and one of the low points of Lifeline along with Fly High.

For realz?  It is a little drawn out, but it, Leviathan, and the title track are the highlights of the album IMO.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 09, 2011, 02:52:29 PM
Children of the Chosen is my favorite, personally.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: juice on May 09, 2011, 04:32:06 PM
I just listened to the Testimony 2 trailer and it sounds like awesome stuff.  It might just be the 2nd Neal Morse album I buy.  First being Sola Scriptura.  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: jsem on May 09, 2011, 04:34:01 PM
I just listened to the Testimony 2 trailer and it sounds like awesome stuff.  It might just be the 2nd Neal Morse album I buy.  First being Sola Scriptura.  :metal
Amirite here (you real fans) when I tell juice to get Testimony first. I dunno, this is a sequel - might be a good idea to listen to the first album first.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: juice on May 09, 2011, 04:41:53 PM
I thought about that too but I don't know.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 09, 2011, 04:44:16 PM
I haven't heard it yet, but I think for continuity reasons he should get T1 first.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 09, 2011, 04:51:07 PM
Having heard it, I can say having T1 is not necessary since, storywise, T2 does NOT simply pick up where T1 left off.  Musically, there are some neat things that occur, the significance of which will be lost if you haven't heard T1.  For instance, there is a section of the story in T2 where Neal is talking about just doing his own thing and not really worrying about his spiritual life, and the main riff from Prince of the Power of the Air comes in for a few measures, and then transitions back to the original riff in the song.  Although he is much more subtle in the lyrics, the music is very blatantly saying "Satan was clearly in charge of my life at that point in time," but someone who hasn't listened to T1 wouldn't pick up on that.  There are some other moments like that as well.  But even so, I don't think it's necessary to have heard T1 first.  In fact, if he likes what he is hearing on T2, getting that first might be more beneficial because it is more compact.  T1 is very long AND very dense, and it took me a VERY long time to even want to absorb everything that is going on.  If someone gets T2 first and likes it, they will have more of an incentive to get into T1 and will probably have an easier time with it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 09, 2011, 04:53:00 PM
Oh. I trust bosk1 when he talks about Neal Morse/Lonestar.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 09, 2011, 07:12:32 PM
The best song from Lifeline is "Leviathan".

Such a great tune!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 09, 2011, 08:22:58 PM
Leviathan, Lifeline, Children of the Chosen and So Many Roads are ALL fantastic songs.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 09, 2011, 08:38:23 PM
Oh. I trust bosk1 when he talks about Neal Morse/Lonestar.

You remember he doesn't like ?, right?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 09, 2011, 08:39:37 PM
It's possible to not like ??
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 09, 2011, 08:56:08 PM
hey Nick, just go ahead and ban bosk.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 09, 2011, 09:03:31 PM
I've been listening to Testimony 2 pretty much all weekend and today, but all this talk of Lifeline really has me wanting to listen to it again with fresh and objective years! I will agree, though, that "Lifeline", "Leviathan" and "So Many Roads" are the better tracks on the album!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 10, 2011, 08:54:08 AM
I agree with bosk1. Testimony 2 is more like he took a magnifying glass over one area of Testimony. Neal dealing with leaving Spock's Beard and questioning weather the whole God thing was real, and really for him.

Although, I feel that if you are accustomed to long progressive rock music, you should still go ahead with Testimony first. It is an amazing album.  Testimony 2 is really taking a lot of time for me to digest and "get", even though it is shorter. Testimony just clicked right away (Although I first experienced it through the live DVD).

On another note, my wife just bought me One. I've heard bits and pieces before, but after listening to the whole album, wow! I don't think it will de-throne ? as my favorite Neal Morse album, but it's close.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 10, 2011, 09:41:25 AM
^Yeah, I am still undecided as to whether I like ? or One more. I give the edge to One because of The Creation. If we are talking about the version of One with the 3 extra tracks, then One wins.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 10, 2011, 09:45:14 AM
One is probably my second favorite Neal solo CD behind ?, but I still don't like how he tacked "The Spirit and the Flesh" on and made it the second half of "Help Me."  "Help Me" should have been its own song, instead of tacking some needless reprise on to it and calling it the second half of the song.  "Reunion" is a fantastic closer, however. :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 10, 2011, 10:16:31 AM
^Yeah, I am still undecided as to whether I like ? or One more. I give the edge to One because of The Creation. If we are talking about the version of One with the 3 extra tracks, then One wins.

^^^This^^^

I love the "restored tracklisting" as I call it, and it's the ONLY way I listen to One, either on my iPod or on my CDs. It's a great album and has long been my favorite Neal Morse solo album, although Testimony 2 is a STRONG contender, with tracks like "Jayda", "The Truth Will Set You Free", and "It's For You" on the main album, and the epic "Seeds Of Gold" on the bonus disc. There is just some awesomely STRONG and EMOTIONAL music on T2, and I hope it comes off that way in the live setting!

As for One, the epics are really strong and some of Neal's best pieces ever, and I love MP's drumming in "Author Of Confusion"! Also, "King Jesus" is just such an uplifting and rocking number, how can you NOT like it?!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 10, 2011, 10:40:19 AM
Well Marc, I have you to thank for finding out about those tracks. :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 10, 2011, 10:49:59 AM
Wait, what 3 extra tracks. What are you on about?

Gah! And now I find out there is a special edition.... which is only on amazon as an import, hence me ignoring it.   >:(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nekov on May 10, 2011, 10:54:23 AM
Just finishing my first listen of the testimony 2. So far I'm liking it. Still have to listen to the 2nd CD
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 10, 2011, 11:47:32 AM
Wait, what 3 extra tracks. What are you on about?

Gah! And now I find out there is a special edition.... which is only on amazon as an import, hence me ignoring it.   >:(

"King Jesus"
"Back to the Garden"
"Nothing to Believe"

Get these tracks now. The restored tracklisting on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Neal_Morse_album)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nekov on May 10, 2011, 12:19:10 PM
Just finished listening to CD 2. I love Neal!!! I wasn't expecting such a good record since I think Lifeline was a little weak and I didn't really get into Testimony 1. But Neal got it done just right. Plus, I'm very happy to listen to MP again.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 10, 2011, 12:36:00 PM
Where would I find them?


"King Jesus"
"Back to the Garden"
"Nothing to Believe"


Get these tracks now. The restored tracklisting on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Neal_Morse_album)

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 10, 2011, 02:43:49 PM
I am digging both discs but "Seeds Of Gold" is blow away! :metal

CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NYC SHOW!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 10, 2011, 03:55:16 PM
Where would I find them?


"King Jesus"
"Back to the Garden"
"Nothing to Believe"


Get these tracks now. The restored tracklisting on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Neal_Morse_album)


Well, I obtained them with some searching...I guess you'd have to reorder the special edition or check iTunes (shudder) or Amazon to see if they have the tracks.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 11, 2011, 05:13:15 PM
Testimony 2 is quickly rising up the Neal Morse album ladder.  Of course it's too early to rate it amongst my favorites, but it is definately really good.  Actually the only solo NM album I don't absolutely love is ?.  Not sure why. . .

My favorite song is probably Jesus Bring Me Home.  What a great tune filled with so much emotion!  Jesus' Blood probably comes in second for songs.  Another of my favorite parts of the album is the Mercy Street reprise in the last track. 

There is not a single track that is weak on the album.  I love all the references to other songs.  There's the obvious ones, like the part from the Water, and stuff from T1, but I love the piano part that plays part of Lifeline, or the part that (I think) is at the end of It's For You and the music refers to Eyes of a Saviour from So Many Roads.  It's bloody brilliant!

Disc 2 is excellent, but since I've had disc one I haven't even been tempted to go back to disc 2 yet.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 11, 2011, 05:29:40 PM
As of this moment...

? > One > T2 > Lifeline > T1 > Sola
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 11, 2011, 05:38:09 PM
So far, T2 isn't really clicking with me much.  :(  

Thus far, it is a VERY distant #2 in my new album rankings for 2011.  And that's disappointing because I have only bought 3 albums, and one is a covers album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 11, 2011, 07:56:33 PM
Have you listened to Seeds of Gold yet?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 11, 2011, 08:01:30 PM
"It's for You"? More like "It's for Muse" amirite?

Seriously though, I wonder how much influence MP had on that track, seeing as how much he likes Muse. It is one of my favorites on the album.  And I can say that I like Neal doing Muse better than I like DT doing Muse.

I still don't have Lifeline, so I can't say for sure, but, this is probably Neal's most modern sounding track in all of his solo work. (I only have 2 SB albums.)

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 11, 2011, 11:48:37 PM
So far, T2 isn't really clicking with me much.  :(  

Hmmmm, let me get this straight:

-Almost everyone who has heard Testimony 2 seems to be really liking it a lot.  You do not.

-Most Neal fans seem to rave like crazy over ?.  Meanwhile, you don't care for it.

I am now pretty confident that I am gonna like this a lot. :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 12, 2011, 02:12:53 AM
As of this moment...

? > One > T2 > Lifeline > T1 > Sola

 :tdwn
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 12, 2011, 08:18:50 AM
Have you listened to Seeds of Gold yet?

Nope.  Even though it's cheap, I spent so much on the full package that I refuse to spend any more money on this album, especially for songs that I will eventually have when it ships.  Looking forward to it though.


So far, T2 isn't really clicking with me much.  :(  

Hmmmm, let me get this straight:

-Almost everyone who has heard Testimony 2 seems to be really liking it a lot.  You do not.

-Most Neal fans seem to rave like crazy over ?.  Meanwhile, you don't care for it.

I am now pretty confident that I am gonna like this a lot. :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:


:lol  Yeah, well I also think Leviathan is FAR AND AWAY the worst track on Lifeline, so there you have it.  My fail is now complete.  :bosky:

But seriously, I don't dislike T2.  I'm just not connecting with it so far.  Not sure why.  Neal is just kind of hit or miss with me, I guess, for whatever reason.  One and Sola Scriptura are top 10 albums for me, and Testimony is not far behind.  I don't hate ?, Lifeline, or T2, but I just don't really connect with them either. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 08:35:36 AM
I also think Leviathan is FAR AND AWAY the worst track on Lifeline
whoa, we agree on something
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 12, 2011, 08:43:31 AM
Odd.  I must be doin' it wrong.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 12, 2011, 08:47:07 AM
So far, T2 isn't really clicking with me much.  :(  

Hmmmm, let me get this straight:

-Almost everyone who has heard Testimony 2 seems to be really liking it a lot.  You do not.

-Most Neal fans seem to rave like crazy over ?.  Meanwhile, you don't care for it.

I am now pretty confident that I am gonna like this a lot. :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:


Haha same here. And Leviathan is awesome and fun.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 12, 2011, 09:11:51 AM
No comments on the Muse influence? I thought it was interesting... but men.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 12, 2011, 09:13:59 AM
I haven't heard it yet...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 09:40:42 AM
I just listened to the teaser sample.  And nothing clicked with me.......is there anything as strong as Somber Days, Colder in the Sun, California Nights, or All I Can Do?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on May 12, 2011, 09:42:22 AM
Starting with disc one now! I'm psyched!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 12, 2011, 10:15:21 AM
I just listened to the teaser sample.  And nothing clicked with me.......is there anything as strong as Somber Days, Colder in the Sun, California Nights, or All I Can Do?

I think so.  Jesus Bring Me Home and Crossing Over are both as powerful, at least to me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 10:51:46 AM
Bosk, you should do a Neal Morse top 50 thread, just like everyone else.  Or maybe a top 25 or something since he doesn't have that much solo material.  But yeah you should do this.

Nick, are you gonna play any of T2 on your radio show next week?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 12, 2011, 10:57:21 AM
Nah.  Too much of his material that I haven't heard.  I couldn't do it justice.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 10:59:31 AM
Nah.  Too much of his material that I haven't heard.  I couldn't do it justice.
Awww I thought you were the Neal Morse master.  Unless you are counting the material from all those Worship CD's....honestly I have no idea where to find those.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 12, 2011, 11:03:03 AM
Aside from that, he had either 1 or 2 obscure solo albums before Testimony.  And then there are the bonus tracks for One that I don't have.  And that's just if we limit it to his solo stuff.  If we expand, I have none of the Spock's albums, and I think there were some bonus tracks on the first two TA albums, weren't there?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 11:06:20 AM
Yeah, according to Wikipedia, he has 2 solo albums before Testimony.  And with the TA albums, it looks like the bonus tracks are either demos, jams, or alternate versions.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 12, 2011, 11:08:02 AM
Aside from that, he had either 1 or 2 obscure solo albums before Testimony.  And then there are the bonus tracks for One that I don't have.  And that's just if we limit it to his solo stuff.  If we expand, I have none of the Spock's albums, and I think there were some bonus tracks on the first two TA albums, weren't there?

There's some alternate versions floating around, particular Roine Stolte's mixes, but I don't think there's actually any other material, though I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 12, 2011, 11:09:47 AM
Nah.  Too much of his material that I haven't heard.  I couldn't do it justice.
Awww I thought you were the Neal Morse master.  Unless you are counting the material from all those Worship CD's....honestly I have no idea where to find those.

I had bought all his worship CD's (whatever he had up the point of a 2 years ago). They didn't really stick besides his covers and a song called Cloudburst.

His non-prog stuff is nowhere near as good as his prog stuff, save for Songs from the Highway, which is an awesome acoustic record he made a few years ago.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on May 12, 2011, 11:11:27 AM
I didn't really care for Testimony, still debating whether or not to get this.

As of this moment...

? > One > T2 > Lifeline > T1 > Sola

 :tdwn

Sola Scriptura is probably his second worst album thanks to inconsistency and bad lyrics, but the guitar solo in The Door is one of the best I've ever heard.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 11:14:51 AM
I heard SS once and I didn't really like it, but I remember really liking the Door.

My ranking:

T1 > One > ? = SS > Lifeline
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 12, 2011, 11:17:44 AM
So far, without hearing T2

One (restored tracklisting)
?
One (standard tracklisting)
Lifeline
Testimony
SS


But I love SS still, so they are all great albums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 12, 2011, 11:47:38 AM
I just listened to the teaser sample.  And nothing clicked with me.......is there anything as strong as Somber Days, Colder in the Sun, California Nights, or All I Can Do?

Not really, at least in the same way.   Some of the more notable stuff to me is the more Spock's Beard sounding tracks.  Although "The Truth Will Set You Free" is pretty strong, as well as "It's for You"

My ranking:

?

One/Testimony tie



Testimony 2





Sola Scriptura


I've only heard the title track to Lifeline so I can't rank it yet.

Oh and Bosk1, do yourself a favor and go out and buy "Snow" right away.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 12, 2011, 11:54:07 AM
Nah.  Too much of his material that I haven't heard.  I couldn't do it justice.
Awww I thought you were the Neal Morse master.  

With all due respect, around these parts, I'd say The Letter M/Marc is undoubtedly the Neal Morse master. ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 11:59:48 AM
Nah.  Too much of his material that I haven't heard.  I couldn't do it justice.
Awww I thought you were the Neal Morse master.  

With all due respect, around these parts, I'd say The Letter M/Marc is undoubtedly the Neal Morse matter. ;)
Actually, yeah.

MARC.  DO A TOP 50.

Actually I think M does a great job at making music sound interesting by just describing it.  He's perfect for the job.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 12, 2011, 12:06:37 PM
Yeah, I've certainly never claimed that title.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 12, 2011, 12:08:28 PM
Nah.  Too much of his material that I haven't heard.  I couldn't do it justice.
Awww I thought you were the Neal Morse master.  

With all due respect, around these parts, I'd say The Letter M/Marc is undoubtedly the Neal Morse matter. ;)
Actually, yeah.

MARC.  DO A TOP 50.

Actually I think M does a great job at making music sound interesting by just describing it.  He's perfect for the job.

Oh man, you guys are putting me on a pedestal that's way too high right now  :rollin

I'll think about it! I have to absorb Testimony 2 for a few weeks or so. Would I just include the 6 Post-SB/TA Solo albums (Testimony-Testimony 2) or perhaps also include his debut self-titled album and It's Not Too Late? The former has some great stuff on it, particularly the 4-part epic "A Whole Nother Trip", while the latter is a great singer-songwriter kind of album.

I will have to think about it and give all his albums PLENTY of listens, but I don't think I'd include any SB or TA albums because Neal does have a TON of material outside of the bands he has been in.

I have been (re-)listening to a lot of Neal's albums lately, so I might be coaxed into doing a Top 50...we'll see  ;)

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 12, 2011, 12:10:20 PM
:caffeine:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 12, 2011, 12:11:09 PM
I think it'd be interesting to see a top 50 that covered SB, TA and solo stuff, but if you stick with just his solo stuff, you can't not consider stuff from the first two records, unless you want to call in the Neal Morse Top 50 Jesus songs. ;) :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 12, 2011, 12:15:02 PM
Yeah, I've certainly never claimed that title.

I tried to the that thread where we claim to be the biggest fan....but yeah, Marc is definitely the most knowledgeable of the span of SB, TA, and the aftermath of those.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 12, 2011, 12:24:02 PM
Hey now, I will fight anyone claiming to be #1 TA fan.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ich bin besser on May 12, 2011, 02:51:06 PM
"It's for You"? More like "It's for Muse" amirite?

Seriously though, I wonder how much influence MP had on that track, seeing as how much he likes Muse. It is one of my favorites on the album.  And I can say that I like Neal doing Muse better than I like DT doing Muse.

This is what Randy George (bass) says on Neal's forum:

Quote
    "Randy, when working on "It's for You" did the band Muse ever come up in discussion? And did Mike Portnoy have anything to do with it? "

No sir. The song was written as is by Neal. We simply played on it. That was one of the more cut and dry songs that didn't need any changes. I did however suggest to Neal that the end of that song would be the perfect place for Steve Morse to play a solo. But Paul Bielatowicz ended up doing it and shredding it just as well! I was just happy to something by Steve Morse somewhere!

Randy

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 12, 2011, 03:02:46 PM

This is what Randy George (bass) says on Neal's forum:

Quote
   "Randy, when working on "It's for You" did the band Muse ever come up in discussion? And did Mike Portnoy have anything to do with it? "

No sir. The song was written as is by Neal. We simply played on it. That was one of the more cut and dry songs that didn't need any changes. I did however suggest to Neal that the end of that song would be the perfect place for Steve Morse to play a solo. But Paul Bielatowicz ended up doing it and shredding it just as well! I was just happy to something by Steve Morse somewhere!

Randy



I know I asked him.  ;)  I still think MP probably had some say in his drum parts which is what gives it that Muse feel imo.  He probably heard the arpeggios at the end and was like, wow that reminds me of Muse, let's try some Muse drumming. Or maybe Neal has been listening to Muse too. Or maybe it's just a coincidence.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 12, 2011, 03:16:35 PM
Finished up an interview with Neal about a half hour ago, looking forward to sharing it with everyone soon. ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 12, 2011, 04:18:00 PM
Finished up an interview with Neal about a half hour ago, looking forward to sharing it with everyone soon. ;)

Cool, when do you think you will have it up?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on May 13, 2011, 12:46:19 AM
This came in the mail today, reminding me why I should pre-order albums when I'm sober:

(http://images.pricerunner.com/product/image/116825256/India.Arie-TESTIMONY-VOL.-2-LOVE-POLITICS.jpg)

j/k
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 13, 2011, 01:12:31 AM
 :rollin
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 13, 2011, 07:49:59 AM
:rollin
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Durg on May 13, 2011, 11:09:25 AM
 :rollin

Check it out and let us know if it's any good.  ;D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 13, 2011, 12:02:24 PM
Finished up an interview with Neal about a half hour ago, looking forward to sharing it with everyone soon. ;)

Cool, when do you think you will have it up?

That's what a lady friend of mine once uttered.

But also: http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=23090.0
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 13, 2011, 12:49:11 PM
...To which you replied, "But, baby, it already is up."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 13, 2011, 12:49:39 PM
Oh snap! :rollin
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 13, 2011, 01:53:23 PM

That's what a lady friend of mine once uttered.

But also: http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=23090.0

Hah. Thanks, I found it a little while after I posted that.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 14, 2011, 10:44:29 AM
less than 9 days til T2 comes out! (I didnt pre-order)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 14, 2011, 11:02:15 AM
less than 9 days til T2 comes out! (I didnt pre-order)

Indeed! And I cannot wait to see if I get my pre-order that Monday or Tuesday so I can start my "summer reading" with Neal's book! Also, the Making Of DVD should be pretty awesome and actually, if you think about it, it's Mike's first recording sessions after leaving DT, so it'll be interesting to see how all of that came together at Neal's house. Additionally, it's nice to finally have a Making Of DVD from Neal that isn't SB or TA. He's had 5 prior solo Christian Prog epics under his belt and none of them (save for some Inner Circle releases, I think) have had an accompanying Making Of DVD, so it's nice to see Neal release something with him, Mike and Randy for a change.

I have been listening to Testimony 2 a lot lately, and I can safely say that this album is one of his best, between his solo stuff, TA and SB. There are a lot of great songs on here, and the bonus disc is just the icing on the already delicious and filling cake. I really hope Neal plays "Seeds Of Gold" on one or both of his tour legs for his upcoming tour.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 14, 2011, 06:51:31 PM
I just bought Absolute Beginner for a little taste of the whole album.  I really like it.  It's very catchy.  It feels very much like Oh Lord, My God from T1 (a song style of his I used to hate, but is growing on me).  Is the general feel of AB a good picture of how the rest of the album is?

And as for Part 6-8, if you could compare them with one other Part from T1, which would you compare to?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 14, 2011, 09:24:16 PM
I just bought Absolute Beginner for a little taste of the whole album.  I really like it.  It's very catchy.  It feels very much like Oh Lord, My God from T1 (a song style of his I used to hate, but is growing on me).  Is the general feel of AB a good picture of how the rest of the album is?

And as for Part 6-8, if you could compare them with one other Part from T1, which would you compare to?
Absolute Beginner is one of the tracks on the bonus disc, so Its not part of the T2 concept.
Buy "Seeds Of Gold" from the bonus disc. Its phenomenal!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 15, 2011, 10:54:23 AM
I just bought Absolute Beginner for a little taste of the whole album.  I really like it.  It's very catchy.  It feels very much like Oh Lord, My God from T1 (a song style of his I used to hate, but is growing on me).  Is the general feel of AB a good picture of how the rest of the album is?

And as for Part 6-8, if you could compare them with one other Part from T1, which would you compare to?

Absolute Beginner is indeed a good song, but it's actually probably my least favorite from either disc.  The other short track from disc 2, Supernatural, is quite a bit better (to me, at least).  If someone were to buy one song from disc 2, this is what I'd recommend.

So I don't personally feel like AB is a good picture of the album.  It almost doesn't feel like it fits in sound-wise.  But that's just me, others may feel differently.  But I mean this in a good way, I think the rest of the album is better.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 16, 2011, 08:52:32 AM
Album is now startting to click.  Part of the reason is that the interview has helped me to not view it as simply the "T1 leftovers," and part of it is just that it's too good to ignore.  It has now surpassed Lifeline and ?.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 16, 2011, 09:10:13 AM
Album is now startting to click.  Part of the reason is that the interview has helped me to not view it as simply the "T1 leftovers," and part of it is just that it's too good to ignore.  It has now surpassed Lifeline and ?.

And the way I see it, it's more like Neal is filling in some gaps from T1, but because T2 has been released 8 years after T1, it feels more like "here's what I didn't tell you the first time", but if you listen to them continuously (I know, a daunting task), you realize it's just Neal telling the story in various ways that best suit how the story unravels. T1, to me, feels more like how Neal's life used to be, and how he felt he needed to move on to Christianity to save himself, but T2 is more of the how and and when, and how it affected his family and bands, where as T1 was more of a history ("Let me take you back, to where it all began") and telling us how his life changed as a result of becoming Christian. T2 then further explains how his becoming Christian led him to a different calling and eventually "Crossing Over" and leaving his brothers/SB.

I think reading the book will greatly help understanding BOTH Testimony albums, and it'll be an amazing read and I'm sure will have some great insight into one of the greatest prog rockers in the industry!

Also, MP revealed today that they will be playing over 3 hours of Neal Morse music on tour!!! Incredible! I look forward to the eventual CD/DVD of this tour that Neal eluded to in the interview. I wish I could go to the show next Tuesday in VA... :-

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 17, 2011, 06:04:20 AM
First impressions of Disc 2 (haven't gotten the main disk yet):

Absolute Beginner: Really strong track.  Just has such a joyous sound to it.  I think Neal's vocals really shine in this track, and he adds quite a bit of personality to the whole song.  My favorite.

Supernatural: This song is kinda bleh for me.  Nothing stands out.  It's not unlistenable, but I can't see myself listening to it other than coupling it with the rest of the disc.

Seeds of Gold: I don't think it compares to Neals other epics, but I predict this one will be a grower.  I really like the softer section about ten minutes from the end...very emotional.  But the rest is too Lifeline-y for me.

On the whole, I am very exicted to continue listening to it and eventually getting the first disc when it comes out on CD.  I am not a huge fan of ?, Lifeline, and SS and I am predicted that it will rank above these and possibly tie with One.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 17, 2011, 06:55:16 AM
Album is now startting to click.  Part of the reason is that the interview has helped me to not view it as simply the "T1 leftovers," and part of it is just that it's too good to ignore.  It has now surpassed Lifeline and ?.
After about a dozen listens, it finally hit me hard yesterday and I am absolutely loving it!
I can't wait till Monday to hear it all live!

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 17, 2011, 07:09:26 AM
Wait, what book?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 17, 2011, 07:14:19 AM
Wait, what book?

www.nealmorse.com
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 17, 2011, 08:38:36 AM
Seeds of Gold: I don't think it compares to Neals other epics, but I predict this one will be a grower.  I really like the softer section about ten minutes from the end...very emotional.  But the rest is too Lifeline-y for me.

Give it time and you will reap the benefits of many listens to "Seeds Of Gold". There's a LOT of recurring themes/melodies that bring the whole thing together, like the opening piano part being done on guitar/bass later on, or some lyrical recurrences that just make it one of his best epics yet. Also, the Steve Morse solo near the end is to die for!

It took me at LEAST a few listens to get into it, then a few more to truly understand it, and to me it sounds pretty much unlike his other epics while still sounding like Neal. He does some awesome things in this song that he's never quite done before, particularly the awesome counter-point things between him and Randy in the middle of the song. And the lyrics have a tone that is different than Neal's usual, especially the "Homecoming" section before the Steve Morse solo.

I still listen to "Seeds Of Gold" is great excitement and it's still very fresh to my ears, even after a couple dozen listens!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 17, 2011, 09:41:02 AM
Regarding Neal's upcoming U.S. tour that begins Thursday in Nashville, from Portnoy himself:

Quote
SPOILER ALERT!!!!
  
I hope I'm not spoiling anything for Neal by telling that the whole setlist is NM material...
  
In fact, I wrote the setlist for the US shows!!  
  
I didn't want to do any SB or TA as there was already 6 full albums of amazing NM material to pull from (5 of which Randy and I never had the opportunity to play live)...
  
I just got back from tonight's rehearsal and I can tell you this is going to be an EPIC show!!!  
We havent timed it yet, but I have a feeling it is going to be *well* over 3 hrs!!  
  
So eat your Wheaties and grab a few Starbucks before the show!!  
  
MP

Somethings tells me there will be several medleys, and "Seeds of Gold" probably stands a good chance of being played.  
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 17, 2011, 10:06:49 AM
I could be wrong, but I would estimate they will play a bunch of T1 along with the T2 material to weave it together into a cohesive story. 

A good SS medley would be a good thing.  There is a lot of great material from that album, but other than Heaven In My Heart, the songs are just too long to play.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 17, 2011, 10:13:44 AM
Regarding Neal's upcoming U.S. tour that begins Thursday in Nashville, from Portnoy himself:

Quote
SPOILER ALERT!!!!
  
I hope I'm not spoiling anything for Neal by telling that the whole setlist is NM material...
  
In fact, I wrote the setlist for the US shows!!  
  
I didn't want to do any SB or TA as there was already 6 full albums of amazing NM material to pull from (5 of which Randy and I never had the opportunity to play live)...
  
I just got back from tonight's rehearsal and I can tell you this is going to be an EPIC show!!!  
We havent timed it yet, but I have a feeling it is going to be *well* over 3 hrs!!  
  
So eat your Wheaties and grab a few Starbucks before the show!!  
  
MP

Somethings tells me there will be several medleys, and "Seeds of Gold" probably stands a good chance of being played.  


Interesting. I'm wondering if they'll do any Testimony material considering Neal played the whole album with Mike and Randy and they've released a DVD of it. To be honest, I'd REALLY like to hear Mike and Randy play all of ? with Neal, do selected pieces from One and Sola Scriptura, maybe one or two songs from Lifeline, and of course all of Testimony 2.

If they do "Seeds Of Gold", I wonder if they'll also do "Absolute Beginner" and "Supernatural"? It'd be pretty neat if they played the entire 2nd disc of T2 in addition to the main disc.

I also wonder how much say Mike had in choosing the setlist for the US Tour and how willing/agreeable Neal was to Mike's choices? I don't doubt they picked a great set, but I wonder if Mike put it together himself or if Neal helped too. I'm sure Mike, if he did it alone, put together a great set list!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 17, 2011, 12:30:49 PM
I just hope he gets a really good electric guitar player, especially if they play "Seeds of Gold."  I'd hate to hear some average player butcher that solo.  Same goes for if they would play "12" or the end of "The Door."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 17, 2011, 12:39:27 PM
Kev- where did MP post that info? Just wondering because I posted it at Neal's forums and someone asked...

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Zydar on May 17, 2011, 12:40:44 PM
Kev- where did MP post that info? Just wondering because I posted it at Neal's forums and someone asked...

-Marc.

http://www.mikeportnoy.com/forum/tm.aspx?high=&m=2667800&mpage=3#2671476
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on May 17, 2011, 02:29:41 PM
I just hope he gets a really good electric guitar player, especially if they play "Seeds of Gold."  I'd hate to hear some average player butcher that solo.  Same goes for if they would play "12" or the end of "The Door."

Paul W. was superb on the Sola Scriptura live dvd.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 17, 2011, 05:51:38 PM
Regarding Neal's upcoming U.S. tour that begins Thursday in Nashville, from Portnoy himself:

Quote
SPOILER ALERT!!!!
  
I hope I'm not spoiling anything for Neal by telling that the whole setlist is NM material...
  
In fact, I wrote the setlist for the US shows!!  
  
I didn't want to do any SB or TA as there was already 6 full albums of amazing NM material to pull from (5 of which Randy and I never had the opportunity to play live)...
  
I just got back from tonight's rehearsal and I can tell you this is going to be an EPIC show!!!  
We havent timed it yet, but I have a feeling it is going to be *well* over 3 hrs!!  
  
So eat your Wheaties and grab a few Starbucks before the show!!  
  
MP

Somethings tells me there will be several medleys, and "Seeds of Gold" probably stands a good chance of being played.  

:metal :metal :metal :metal :metal :metal :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 17, 2011, 07:14:18 PM
I'm very envious of anyone who gets to see this stuff live!!!!  Nobody worth seeing ever comes to Michigan. . .
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 18, 2011, 05:35:11 AM
I'm very envious of anyone who gets to see this stuff live!!!!  Nobody worth seeing ever comes to Michigan. . .
Sorry to hear that. I live in Connecticut, so I'm just over an hour out of NYC, and 2 and a half hours from Boston, so I can pretty much have the opportunity to see any touring artist close to home if they're not playing in my state.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 18, 2011, 08:47:09 AM
I would have drove to the Nashville show (7 hours) had I known about it sooner and had time to save for it.  Really really regretting not being able to go.    :sad:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 18, 2011, 08:53:37 AM
Another Interview:

http://www.examiner.com/progressive-metal-in-national/neal-morse-spock-s-beard-transatlantic-discusses-his-music-inspirations


Quote
Who knows if it’ll ever happen again with the full Testimony band?
:mehlin  Really making me feel bad.




Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: OsMosis2259 on May 18, 2011, 10:16:45 AM
I saw the hype over Neal Morse almost everywhere and I heard that MP plays with him so I decided to buy the 2nd disc of Testimony 2 on amazon.

Jesus... I'm blown away by SEEDS OF GOLD especially at the "AND TOMORROW FEELS LIKE HOME" section. Love the emotion along with the technical side. Some of MPs best drumming in the recent years too in my opinion.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 18, 2011, 10:30:28 AM
REALLY glad I'll have this by next week, since all the rave reviews you guys have been giving disk 2 have really been tempting me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 18, 2011, 11:04:55 AM
REALLY glad I'll have this by next week, since all the rave reviews you guys have been giving disk 2 have really been tempting me.

Plus the making of DVD!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 18, 2011, 12:45:33 PM
So I'm thinking about just saying screw it, and driving to Nashville tomorrow.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 18, 2011, 12:56:50 PM
It's For You is amazing! Holy moly.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 18, 2011, 03:04:48 PM
It's For You is amazing! Holy moly.
:tup Itnit?

And I'll be at the Nashville show tomorrow. Woo Hoo! Screw bills.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 18, 2011, 04:22:59 PM
Yeah! I've heard Seeds of Gold and It's For You now, and I like the latter better, but both are great.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 18, 2011, 08:23:18 PM
A couple of people in the US have received their special bundles from Radiant records today. . .  The wait is winding down!!!  Since I've heard the music already, I'm looking forward to the book most. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 20, 2011, 06:51:50 AM
A couple of people in the US have received their special bundles from Radiant records today. . .  The wait is winding down!!!  Since I've heard the music already, I'm looking forward to the book most.  
I have mine! and don't forget the DVD.
3 more days till NYC!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 20, 2011, 08:41:59 AM
Crap.  I don't have mine, and given some bad stuff going on right now that it going to take me out of state for a few days, won't likely have it for a while.  :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 20, 2011, 12:59:30 PM
A couple of people in the US have received their special bundles from Radiant records today. . .  The wait is winding down!!!  Since I've heard the music already, I'm looking forward to the book most.  
I have mine! and don't forget the DVD.
3 more days till NYC!

Awww man...I checked my mail today and nothing... I was hoping to get it today so I could watch the DVD. Maybe it'll come tomorrow and I can watch it then, if not Sunday. Either way, if it definitely comes by Monday, I have off work so I will be watching it then!

Also, the setlist from the Nashville show was posted up at Neal's forums if anyone wants to check it out there. I won't post it here for the non-spoiler people who want to be surprised by the set, but I will just say it's an AMAZING set list and I think Neal/Mike made some awesome song choices (outside the obvious entire T2 album).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 20, 2011, 01:09:09 PM
SPOILER BELOW






I saw the set list, and it is very good, but two songs from Lifeline and nothing from ? is a gaping flaw in it.  Portnoy made a point to mention being able to play all of the stuff from the albums that they've never got to play live, and then nothing gets played by Neal's best and most popular solo album (it is his highest rated album at both RYM and progarchives, for anyone wanting to dispute that :P), while two songs get played from what has been his least popular album since leaving SB?  That is bizarre.  But the rest looks great.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 20, 2011, 01:14:28 PM
Where is the setlist?

And that is odd. ? is such an album
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 20, 2011, 01:20:09 PM

Lifeline
Leviathan
The Separated Man
The Door (cut off after All I Ask For)/Come Out of Her
Seeds of Gold
Overture No. 3/Rejoice/Oh Lord My God/God's Theme

Intermission

Testimony 2 (entire album)

Encore: Sing it High
Reunion

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 20, 2011, 01:22:00 PM
I haven't heard Testimony 2 yet, but that setlist seems weird, even factoring in no ? songs. I can't put my finger on why, though. Still, would kill to see it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on May 20, 2011, 02:11:40 PM
Good thing those are two of the three good songs on Lifeline :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 20, 2011, 11:05:40 PM
After one listen, I like Testimony 2.  I think the second half is much stronger than the first, the ending of the last song is great (I like how he let it just be music instead of trying to force feed a lyrical ending), and "The Truth Will Set You Free" really stood out.  On the flip side, I think the SB-song, "Time Changer," was fairly weak.  But many more listens are to come, so we'll see.

Also, I finally heard Lifeline recently.  Not bad, but not that good either.  The title track has some really cool stuff going on, but seemed a bit too padded.  It probably could have been a killer 7 or 8 minute tune, instead of a 13 minute plus dragger.  The epic, "So Many Roads," didn't do much for me, but with a song that long, it will take some work to get to know it.  I am not wildly optimistic, though, and given how much good new music I have to listen to right now, this album is gonna have a tough time getting listened to much in the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 20, 2011, 11:33:32 PM

Lifeline
Leviathan
The Separated Man
The Door (cut off after All I Ask For)/Come Out of Her
Seeds of Gold
Overture No. 3/Rejoice/Oh Lord My God/God's Theme

Intermission

Testimony 2 (entire album)

Encore: Sing it High
Reunion



I like it...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 21, 2011, 07:58:45 AM
Where is the setlist?

And that is odd. ? is such an album
James the reason for the words,"spoiler alert" are so you have to option not to read the post. Responding to it kind of defeats the purpose.


I read it by the way.

and looked at the set list. Only one song I would omit.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 21, 2011, 10:10:46 AM
listening to crossing over for 1st listen...I like it already
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 21, 2011, 11:38:47 AM
Got my package today! Watching the DVD now... wow this is good. I love the editing and the footage. Good stuff! :tup

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 21, 2011, 11:11:33 PM
Portnoy posted on his forum about the id points on Testimony, about he hated where he put some of them on that record, and I have to say, I totally agree with him.  Neal is not always good at picking the right spot to change from one track to another, but if that is the worst thing we can say about him, then that ain't too bad.  The id points for the beginning of both "Wasted Life" and "I Am Willing" in particular really stand out as being way off.  ? has a couple of really bad ones, too.  Sounds like Neal let Portnoy pick all of the ones on the new record, which was probably a good thing, as the id points on all DT records where songs run together all sound perfect, and you gotta think Portnoy had a lot to do with that.  
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 22, 2011, 07:15:10 AM
After listening through Testimony 2 once, I can say that I like it.  But I need more listens to properly digest it.

Oh, and I liked that setlist that was posted.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 22, 2011, 02:12:52 PM
since when did portnoy get a nose ring?  :lol  its weird

currently still watching the DVD 8D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 22, 2011, 02:14:23 PM
I may have to wait a while to actually own this album. :( Just too tight on money to buy it. By September I should be well and dandy to get it (plus the new DT!). Until then, I will near my computer a lot this summer exploring new music on Grooveshark and Youtube.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: SystematicThought on May 22, 2011, 09:25:16 PM
since when did portnoy get a nose ring?  :lol  its weird

currently still watching the DVD 8D
I think he got that back on the A7X tour.

I'm looking forward to buying T2 this summer. Sounds great!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 23, 2011, 11:50:12 AM
Well, its off to the city, peeps! :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 23, 2011, 12:36:44 PM
Have fun!

Still trying to absorb all of the new album, but "Crossing Over/Mercy Street Revisited" is a spectacular finisher.  Is there any who has ever been as great at writing last songs for symphonic/prog rock albums as Neal Morse?  Seriously.  And it's amazing how they usually seem to follow a similar formula, yet are always awesome.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 23, 2011, 12:43:10 PM
Well, its off to the city, peeps! :metal

8D maybe ill see you there.. im meeting up with nick in like 2 hours ! should be a great evening  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 23, 2011, 04:10:37 PM
Wow, the concert was really great. The only other concert I've been to for musicians that I really like at the level of Neal Morse is G3 when JP was there, but this was just really special.  My only complaints was that it was too loud, especially the drums, and it made it difficult to make out the intricate parts going on sometimes.

I took my camera!  (There's more here: https://picasaweb.google.com/unklejman/NealMorseTestimony2Tour2011#)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNBdQASyI/AAAAAAAACrs/VrD3K2rZPjg/s800/nealmorse_2011_3.jpg)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNByWe48I/AAAAAAAACrg/k4qx5Pr9mUQ/s720/nealmorse_2011_7.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNCmhgO-I/AAAAAAAACr0/kTnDGUK_MAQ/s720/nealmorse_2011_10.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNDDwOqOI/AAAAAAAACsA/i8BU9Mr-aGI/s800/nealmorse_2011_13.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNGDiwLKI/AAAAAAAACsY/eJ8GlKpzvH4/s800/nealmorse_2011_22.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNGSjaiYI/AAAAAAAACsc/YwfuuSh1XzQ/s720/nealmorse_2011_20.jpg)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNHc70CdI/AAAAAAAACso/qumsA42pdSA/s720/nealmorse_2011_26.jpg)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrNHUCo-vI/AAAAAAAACsw/Nuz-9LXhyoY/s720/nealmorse_2011_25.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_JDgAPQbk7mQ/TdrPhpfJKLI/AAAAAAAACs4/LvLk00GH-LA/s912/nealmorse_2011_27.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 23, 2011, 04:28:35 PM
Wow, great pictures!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 23, 2011, 04:38:00 PM
Thanks, I was pushing my camera to it's utter limits with those. That wide shot of the whole band was with my cellphone though...   :P
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 23, 2011, 05:38:57 PM
 Thanks nick!  :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 23, 2011, 06:15:07 PM
Awesome pics Jman!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 23, 2011, 06:58:44 PM
So two of my friends who love Neal Morse went to the show tonight in NY and they said that they got me a souvenir!

:caffeine:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 23, 2011, 11:56:43 PM
Just picked up Testimony 2 tonight, and it's great. On first listen, it felt like the greatest thing in the world  :lol Still need to listen to the second disc.

So good.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 24, 2011, 01:02:32 AM
Neal did an amazing version of Bridge Across Forever at tonight's show!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 24, 2011, 01:58:19 AM
http://www.nickeh.com/samples/theseperatedman.mp3

Raw, from the NYC show.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on May 24, 2011, 02:32:07 AM
omg that was an incredible show! first time seeing Neal Morse everrr.

Jayda was a very emotional song live. and hearing Neal explain it and start crying while singing it made it that much more special. Also i LOVED Bridge Across Forever! . hell the whole show was amazing!!

and i got to meet tick today too!!

edit:
i was pretty much front row dead center xD

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/Scrub206/Neal%20Morse/IMAG0599.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 24, 2011, 08:10:25 AM
Wow, what a night! I was completely floored. Besides the astounding talent on the stage, it is inspiring to watch Neal Morse perform. What a humble man. At one point someone screamed out something like, "yeah party!" as Neal was speaking of the state he was in when he found out his daughter was healed. Neal softly responded with class.
This show was one of those shows that really stays with you when its over.

It was a pleasure seeing Nick coming and going. He asked me as I was leaving what I thought of the show? At the time the only thing that came to mind was, "wonderful". I don't think that adequately summed it up, but the proper words eluded me at the time. It was also nice to meet scrub206 as well.
My wife, maybe one of 10 women in the venue, predictably cried continuously all night long. Last night was a dream come true for her.

The songs that hit me the hardest were "The Separated Man" (thanks Nick for posting it, I'm listening as we speak!) in the first set, and I was completely blown away by the entire "testimony 2" album in a way I didn't see coming. It was so emotional to watch Neal's heart on display, it was like few things I have experienced live.

What a night.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 24, 2011, 12:16:08 PM
Sounds cool.  I would love to have seen this little tour, but he never comes to St. Louis.  Oh well.  At least they're gonna record and release a DVD of one of the shows, so that will be sweet at least.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 25, 2011, 07:21:11 AM
Still kicking myself for not going to the NYC show. Money's a bitch, though, and dredg/Blackfield were more important to me, so I can't say I'm disappointed with my decision.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 25, 2011, 07:29:56 AM
http://www.nickeh.com/samples/theseperatedman.mp3

Raw, from the NYC show.

Thanks for that, I actually had to step out of the concert for this song unfortunately. Is it just me or is the violin really flat?  :-\
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 25, 2011, 04:00:55 PM
Finally heard Testimony 2 today. The first 6 or 7 songs were really, really, really good- but then there is a clear drop in quality where the music goes from being amazing to bland, generic, and quite dull. I imagine it has something to do with the fact that after the first half, Neal shifted his focus to the lyrics, at which point the music began to be less important to him.

Overall ranking 6/10

EDIT: For clarity's sake, I'm not trying to take a shot at Neal's message. I find a few of his other albums (namely One, ?, SS) to be pretty much perfect from cover to cover, so it's not like I dislike it because it gets very preachy at the end (although the lyrics do definitely get boring after awhile, for me anyway)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 25, 2011, 04:17:00 PM
Finally heard Testimony 2 today. The first 6 or 7 songs were really, really, really good- but then there is a clear drop in quality where the music goes from being amazing to bland, generic, and quite dull. I imagine it has something to do with the fact that after the first half, Neal shifted his focus to the lyrics, at which point the music began to be less important to him.

Overall ranking 6/10

EDIT: For clarity's sake, I'm not trying to take a shot at Neal's message. I find a few of his other albums (namely One, ?, SS) to be pretty much perfect from cover to cover, so it's not like I dislike it because it gets very preachy at the end (although the lyrics do definitely get boring after awhile, for me anyway)

I kind of get that except for I don't think the gap is as big as your saying. "It's for You" is quite great imo, and the closer is also really good. Also the outro hits me emotionally when he talks about leaving the band he loves so much and moving on.  I also agree with you on ? and One being pretty much perfect. Sola, not so much, although it has some good stuff it in.  
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 25, 2011, 04:21:27 PM
Yea, the last song is definitely the best one of the later half of the album, but then again, a lot of it is a reprise of the first song, which I've already said is unrealistically good.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 25, 2011, 04:28:09 PM
Seeds of Gold is pretty cool.  Not sure yet if I put it on quite as high a pedastal as some here, but it's early yet, since I've only really heard it once.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 25, 2011, 04:29:07 PM
Seeds of Gold is pretty cool.  Not sure yet if I put it on quite as high a pedastal as some here, but it's early yet, since I've only really heard it once.

Yea I forgot to check out the Bonus Disc until just now. I'm up to SoG, and it's pretty good, but I agree that some of his epics are better.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 25, 2011, 04:31:02 PM
Yeah, I haven't digested Seed of Gold yet, but it's growing, and it has a different feel than most of Neal's stuff which is a good thing.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 25, 2011, 04:32:00 PM
Seeds of Gold is pretty cool.  Not sure yet if I put it on quite as high a pedastal as some here, but it's early yet, since I've only really heard it once.
For me, Seeds Of Gold gets more epic every time I hear it. It was great live.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 25, 2011, 04:36:10 PM
Seeds of Gold is pretty cool.  Not sure yet if I put it on quite as high a pedastal as some here, but it's early yet, since I've only really heard it once.
For me, Seeds Of Gold gets more epic every time I hear it. It was great live.

Yeah, I can see that it would.  There is a lot going on that is difficult to take in after a listen or ten. 

Oh, and the book is pretty good too so far.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 25, 2011, 05:44:18 PM
Seeds of Gold is pretty cool.  Not sure yet if I put it on quite as high a pedastal as some here, but it's early yet, since I've only really heard it once.
For me, Seeds Of Gold gets more epic every time I hear it. It was great live.

Yeah, I can see that it would.  There is a lot going on that is difficult to take in after a listen or ten. 

Oh, and the book is pretty good too so far.
I'm almost done with the book. Very inspiring read.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 25, 2011, 06:21:51 PM
Yeah, Seeds of Gold is...a lot. I like it, but it'll take some time to "get it."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 25, 2011, 07:12:51 PM
I think it's great, but I don't think it rises to the level of Stranger in Your Soul, Duel With the Devil, So Many Roads, The Great Nothing. . .  But that's just my opinion.  But I still absolutely love it, just not as much as a lot of other longer classics.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 25, 2011, 10:06:02 PM
I can't agree with the second half being weaker than the first half.  "The Truth Will Set You Free" and "Crossing Over/Mercy Street Revisited" are probably the two best songs on the record, and the three song run before the last song is terrific.  Right now, the only songs I am kind of iffy on are "Time Changer" and "Jesus' Blood," but it's not I dislike either song; all of the others just seem much stronger at this point.

Also, I can't remember who said it, but suggesting that "It's for You" sounds like Muse is a major WTF.  It doesn't sound a thing like Muse. ???

Lastly, one thing I have noticed about this record is he has brought back something which has been missing in his solo work since leaving Spock's Beard: FUN!  Songs like "Nighttime Collectors," "Time Has Come Today" and "Road Dog Blues" are all rocking, upbeat and fun as hell.  Honestly, assuming Disc 2 is counted as part of the regular album and not a bonus disc, I could see this becoming my favorite or second favorite Neal solo CD.  Time will tell. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 25, 2011, 10:26:05 PM
Honestly, assuming Disc 2 is counted as part of the regular album and not a bonus disc, I could see this becoming my favorite or second favorite Neal solo CD.  Time will tell. :)

Well considering the album is sold either as a 2CD or 2CD/1DVD set, it seems like the 2nd disc is meant to be part of the album, unlike the 2nd disc to The Whirlwind, which wasn't available with all versions of the album (since the main album was available by itself, unlike Testimony 2).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nic35 on May 25, 2011, 10:45:07 PM
Very disappointing album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 25, 2011, 10:48:08 PM
I'll agree that generally the 2nd half isn't as good as the first half, but that being said I'd say the first half is nearly flawless and the 2nd half is very good, so still a great record at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 26, 2011, 12:21:55 AM
I see the first disc as the 3 parts that they are, so I think the entire record is great, and most of the tracks are among his best. Ive only listened to the second disc once so Im still digesting. Seeds of Gold was interesting on first listen.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 26, 2011, 05:58:14 AM
I'll agree that generally the 2nd half isn't as good as the first half, but that being said I'd say the first half is nearly flawless and the 2nd half is very good, so still a great record at the end of the day.
Watching the album performed live changed everything for me and brought it to a different level of brilliance. I love the entire album from start to finish. He tells his story perfectly.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: jonny108 on May 26, 2011, 08:19:06 AM
Got Testimony 2 a couple of days ago, been listening to it.  This is my first Neal Morse solo album, not heard any of his other stuff but I'm impressed.  Really been enjoying it, lots of great melodies, loving the mix of it.  Bass sounds great! Mike sounds awesome as usual and Neals vox are incredible. I actually prefer his voice now than when he was with Spock's.  But what's really grabs me with this record is how happy it sounds, just makes me want to smile  :) Definitely buying more of Neal's solo stuff.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: nickel on May 26, 2011, 09:14:51 AM
Wow!! What an amazing show last night in Denver! We got two bonus songs!! Well, kind of. Funny thing happened during Time Changers (track 3 on T2). When the band got to the part where everything stops and they do the Spock's Beard complicated a cappella bit, Neal stopped just as he was starting it... "Whoa, hey, what is that?!?" And there was a loud hum coming over the PA system.

While they were troubleshooting the hum, Mike Portnoy and Randy George started doing a little noodling and then a fan yelled out, "The Fang... Sings!" Neal played dumb a little... "What's that one again? Is that a bonus track from somewhere?" Then Mike leaned in to one of the microphones over his cymbals and "sang" "The Fang... Sings!" and even explained where it comes from (bonus track from bonus disc of Testimony 1), which, of course, Mr. Portnoy would remember b/c he remembers all that stuff.

Then, suddenly, Neal ripped into "Heavy Metal Long Haired Blue Beard Tatooed Jew" and as soon as he started Mike sat right back down and kicked in with the drums. Randy was also right there on bass within seconds and they did about a minute or so of that one.

Finally, the hum was fixed and, without giving himself a starting note on his keyboard to get his bearings (at least I didn't hear one), Neal just started right in on the complex a cappella bit of Time Changers. Quite a highlight!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 26, 2011, 09:23:48 AM
I SO hope that show is taped.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 26, 2011, 10:26:48 AM
[Denver Recap]]


Whoa! I really hope this ends up as bonus material on the DVD! If anyone who went to the show camcorder'd it, it'd be nice if they sent the footage to Mike or Neal with the intent of using it on the concert DVD! It's fun and funny when moments like this happen! I mean, who knew that they'd break out two Bonus Tracks that weren't even really songs, just a jam and Mike being silly.

Either way, sounds like they had fun in Denver. Is the LA show up next? I believe this one is being filmed for the DVD, so I hope they continue to have fun and put on a great show (hopefully without technical difficulties).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 26, 2011, 01:02:07 PM
You know what's really fun? When I work on my show's I track them and test for anomalies at the same time, which just essentially requires me to listen through my entire recording. I'm doing this while reading Testimony and it's cool the little connections and such that come up between what I'm hearing and reading at the moment.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 26, 2011, 09:14:25 PM
Nice, I managed to sing the "One heart, one voice, one love, one spirit" section of Reunion and not make my recording sound like crap. :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 27, 2011, 08:35:26 AM
Want.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 27, 2011, 08:49:39 AM
I've finished tracking the 16-bit version. Today I have to finish tracking the 24-bit version and then complete the note files for both shows. After that the note files go off to the guy who wants to do art for the show and then I'll release as soon as he gets art back to me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 27, 2011, 10:46:02 AM
Just popping in to share some of my thoughts on disk 1.

1. Mercy Street: Excellent song, perfect as an opener.
2. Overture 4: Not the biggest fan of any of the overtures or instrumentals.  It does its job, but not much else.
3. Time Changer: I didn't think the overlapped vocals were that good.  I felt like it was trying to hard to be a "princes, principalities" thing.  But the latter half of the song is incredible.
4. Jayda: I can't relate to this song at all.  One of my least favorites on the album...I appreciate the significance to the story, but overall I think the delivery of such a tremendous moment could have been better.

5. Nighttime Collecters: For some reason I love this song.  It was my favorite on my first listen, but right now it's probably in the top 3.  It really reminds me of "Young Lust" in both the music and what the song is about.
6. Time Has Come Today: Overall kinda forgettable...random side note, I always think of Neal wearing a sumo Santa suit at the "ho ho ho" part.
7. Jesus' Blood: I thought the imagery of the song was really strong.  I love this song (and the transition to the next).
8. The Truth Will Set You Free: I mean, it's the best, don't really need to elaborate.  On a side note, it sounds like something the NFL would use. Also does anybody know the guy who does the backing vocals? He sounds really familiar.

9. Chance of a Lifetime: Here's a song that isn't special on its own but works great in the story.  I really like it.
10. Jesus Bring Me Home: I feel like there's a song that should have come before this...in Chance, Neal expresses that he has major doubts about everything and thinks it could be a lie, but in Bring Me Home, it sounds like the Neal we know now.
11. Road Dog Blues: I am not a huge fan, but maybe if I get into Spock's, i'll have more appreciation for it.
12. It's For You: People are raving about this song in this thread, but I will be honest and say that it just does nothing for me.
13. Crossing Over/Mercy Street Revisited: I was hoping for a closer like with One, but overall, I thought it was kinda weak.

Overall...I think it suffers from the same blessing/curse as T1.  Great first two thirds or so, but meh closing tracks.  But anyway, This album either ties with One or is a little bit behind it (T1 is my #1).  I am a little bit disappointed with the references to T1.  It felt like they were just kinda thrown in for cheap thrill.  Some of them worked, like the end of Overture 4, but some just weren't that effective, like the "All I Can Do" reference.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 27, 2011, 11:01:58 AM
It really is interesting how music is received by different people. Honestly though on first or second listen I had some of the same feelings, but after repeat listening a lot of those went away. But the big thing was the concert. Hearing it live and seeing Neal really pour himself out just made this album really special, as tick mentioned earlier. 


Just popping in to share some of my thoughts on disk 1.

1. Mercy Street: Excellent song, perfect as an opener.
2. Overture 4: Not the biggest fan of any of the overtures or instrumentals.  It does its job, but not much else.
3. Time Changer: I didn't think the overlapped vocals were that good.  I felt like it was trying to hard to be a "princes, principalities" thing.  But the latter half of the song is incredible.
4. Jayda: I can't relate to this song at all.  One of my least favorites on the album...I appreciate the significance to the story, but overall I think the delivery of such a tremendous moment could have been better.

5. Nighttime Collecters: For some reason I love this song.  It was my favorite on my first listen, but right now it's probably in the top 3.  It really reminds me of "Young Lust" in both the music and what the song is about.
6. Time Has Come Today: Overall kinda forgettable...random side note, I always think of Neal wearing a sumo Santa suit at the "ho ho ho" part.
7. Jesus' Blood: I thought the imagery of the song was really strong.  I love this song (and the transition to the next).
8. The Truth Will Set You Free: I mean, it's the best, don't really need to elaborate.  On a side note, it sounds like something the NFL would use. Also does anybody know the guy who does the backing vocals? He sounds really familiar.

9. Chance of a Lifetime: Here's a song that isn't special on its own but works great in the story.  I really like it.
10. Jesus Bring Me Home: I feel like there's a song that should have come before this...in Chance, Neal expresses that he has major doubts about everything and thinks it could be a lie, but in Bring Me Home, it sounds like the Neal we know now.
11. Road Dog Blues: I am not a huge fan, but maybe if I get into Spock's, i'll have more appreciation for it.
12. It's For You: People are raving about this song in this thread, but I will be honest and say that it just does nothing for me.
13. Crossing Over/Mercy Street Revisited: I was hoping for a closer like with One, but overall, I thought it was kinda weak.

Overall...I think it suffers from the same blessing/curse as T1.  Great first two thirds or so, but meh closing tracks.  But anyway, This album either ties with One or is a little bit behind it (T1 is my #1).  I am a little bit disappointed with the references to T1.  It felt like they were just kinda thrown in for cheap thrill.  Some of them worked, like the end of Overture 4, but some just weren't that effective, like the "All I Can Do" reference.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 27, 2011, 12:35:44 PM
I find the album as a whole has very few low points, with my least favorite being Jayda right now, but it does contain the beautiful "Sad Theme" that is further elaborated during Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise. I find CO/MS Reprise to be a fitting ending, and though I usually don't like fade-outs, I think it is appropriate for the end of the album, and leaves the album open for Testimony 3 if it were to happen. (However I think Neal took a cue from Dream Theater, and not end every album in a bombastic way, with a big final chord, etc...)

Im also a big fan of the string section on this album. It is more powerful than usual for Neal Morse. The Truth Will Set You Free is some awesome stuff gong on. I also the overture in this album much more than on T1, maybe because of the first albums' riffs, but also the new stuff. And Time Changer is definitely something different for NM, and has a lot of Rush influence.

Mercy Street, Nighttime Collectors and Road Dog Blues are also a very fun songs, the former being very uplifting and opening with the T2 theme on piano; the latter having great sax work, and moving the story along into some of the main themes of the album. It's For You is good, but has that early 2000s mainstream rock feel to it in the chorus (but doesn't really detract from the song). The rest of the song has some awesome parts with the sweep picking on the guitar (is that Neal???) and just some crazy runs ala Is It Really Happening from The Whirlwind.

The finale of the first disc is one of Neal's best, and is the first song from this album to get stuck in my head. From the opening theme played on guitar this time, and Neal talking about leaving Spock's Beard. But the Crossing Over theme is so catchy and uplifting, and containing some of his most beautiful work (not to mention some Genesis influence), I love this ending, and is up there with the epic endings of Stranger In Your Soul, The Whirlwind, ?, One, and Duel With the Devil.

Seeds of Gold from the second disc is awesome. Those first 2 tracks are ok, solid slices of melodic rock. But Ive heard Seeds of Gold 4 times, and I still feel like I need to listen to it 4 more times just to wrap my head around it. But the parts are so good that they keep bringing me back. Plus dat solo!

4 & 1/2 stars for me (out of 5) for me right now. We'll see how this album ages, but I think it will age quite well.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 27, 2011, 12:43:07 PM
I am sorry, but I can't get on board with the last song being weak.  I think it is tremendous, and I'd probably say it is one of the best single songs of Neal's solo career.

Also, got the CDs and Making of DVD in the mail yesterday (yes, I had been listening to a leak for the week prior to that ;) :P), and the Making of DVD was great.  You really get a glimpse of how well the three of them work together, and it really showed how important George and Portnoy are when finalizing the album as a whole.  

Quick sidenote: I was shocked at how little Portnoy was.  I mean, I knew he had worked out a ton and lose weight while on tour with AS last year, but he looks really small behind his drum kit now.  And that wasn't even his biggest one! :lol :lol

Anyway, "Time Changer" is growing on me, but I am not big on the "Time changer, time change, change the time..." chorus, and the big vocal section with the Spock's Beard guys is probably my least favorite part of the whole album.  But I was never as crazy about those vocal-type sections when he was in Spock's, as they have the tendency to sound a bit too corny more often than not, especially when they starting saying lines really fast and with a lot of words, like at the very end of the one in "Time Changer."  But that is a very small part of even that song, so I can deal with it. :biggrin:

Finally, I do agree that a few of the reprises from T1 did feel unnecessary and like window-dressing more than anything else, but like I said before, reprises as a whole from T1 are pretty limited, so I am fine with all of it, even the ones that seem a bit "thrown in for the hell of it."
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 27, 2011, 12:43:51 PM
. The rest of the song has some awesome parts with the sweep picking on the guitar (is that Neal???)

It is in fact, Paul Bielatowicz.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 27, 2011, 12:48:00 PM
darkshade, I am glad you mentioned the fadeout at the end, as I meant to say something about that in my last post, but I said so much else, I forgot about it. :lol  Anyway, yes, I love that fadeout.  Like you said, not everything has to end with that huge ending.  Plus, that main melody is so awesome, it is like you never want to end, so with it fading out for 40 or 50 seconds, it leaves you with the impression that it is still going on and on and on, even though it faded away from us.  Very effective use of the fadeout! :tup :tup

And while that sweep picking part was not Neal, I do think his electric guitar playing has improved tremendously.  So has his tone.  The lack of many memorable electric guitar parts of T1 (aside from a few nice solos, including Livgren's) has always stood out as something it was really missing, but I no longer get the impression that his electric guitar playing is of lower quality than the bass, drums, keys or acoustic guitars.  :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 27, 2011, 12:53:19 PM
Quick sidenote: I was shocked at how little Portnoy was.  I mean, I knew he had worked out a ton and lose weight while on tour with AS last year, but he looks really small behind his drum kit now.  And that wasn't even his biggest one! :lol :lol

He's also very short.  I was surprised when I met him and stood right next to him.  So with losing weight and getting leaner, yeah, he's going to look tiny.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 27, 2011, 01:11:10 PM
darkshade, I am glad you mentioned the fadeout at the end, as I meant to say something about that in my last post, but I said so much else, I forgot about it. :lol  Anyway, yes, I love that fadeout.  Like you said, not everything has to end with that huge ending.  Plus, that main melody is so awesome, it is like you never want to end, so with it fading out for 40 or 50 seconds, it leaves you with the impression that it is still going on and on and on, even though it faded away from us.  Very effective use of the fadeout! :tup :tup

And while that sweep picking part was not Neal, I do think his electric guitar playing has improved tremendously.  So has his tone.  The lack of many memorable electric guitar parts of T1 (aside from a few nice solos, including Livgren's) has always stood out as something it was really missing, but I no longer get the impression that his electric guitar playing is of lower quality than the bass, drums, keys or acoustic guitars.  :coolio

Yea the fadeout works, and thankfully fades out very slowly. I also agree Neal's guitar work has gotten better over the years. I just think he plays better solos on the keys and piano.

BTW, that Spock's Beard vocal section inspired me to listen to some Gentle Giant recently  :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 27, 2011, 02:11:05 PM
Anyway, "Time Changer" is growing on me, but I am not big on the "Time changer, time change, change the time..." chorus, and the big vocal section with the Spock's Beard guys is probably my least favorite part of the whole album.
This times a million.  That chorus just sounds SO bad.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 27, 2011, 02:23:55 PM
Quick sidenote: I was shocked at how little Portnoy was.  I mean, I knew he had worked out a ton and lose weight while on tour with AS last year, but he looks really small behind his drum kit now.  And that wasn't even his biggest one! :lol :lol

He's also very short.  I was surprised when I met him and stood right next to him.  So with losing weight and getting leaner, yeah, he's going to look tiny.

well, at least he ain't the shortest
(http://guitarinternational.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Standing-Band.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: jonny108 on May 27, 2011, 04:59:21 PM
 :rollin :rollin :rollin Poor Pete
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 27, 2011, 05:07:53 PM
So you know what's surprised me most when I got my package in and I looked in the booklet? "Seeds Of Gold" doesn't have movements! It's all one long song without subsections/movements dividing the various lyrical/musical sections, which I feel like there are :
0:00-4:35 : Intro/Overture (Instrumental)
4:35-7:10 : "Look Away"
7:10-9:48 : "City Of Light"
9:48-12:46 : "Love You More"
12:46-15:11 : (Instrumental)
15:11-22:19 :  "Homecoming"
22:19-25:59 : "Look Away (Reprise)/Finale"

Lyrically, there are five chunks/sections, and you could separate the "Homecoming" section from the epic Steve Morse solo at 19:34, so a total of 8 sections, lyrically and musically.

Either way, I think it's a nice change-of-pace for Neal to do a non-divided epic (much like DT did with "The Count Of Tuscany", which I also expected to have sections), as he has done SO MANY(ROADS) over the last 18 years...

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 27, 2011, 05:43:33 PM
Anyway, "Time Changer" is growing on me, but I am not big on the "Time changer, time change, change the time..." chorus, and the big vocal section with the Spock's Beard guys is probably my least favorite part of the whole album.
This times a million.  That chorus just sounds SO bad.
It was cool hearing the band do it live.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 27, 2011, 05:47:27 PM
My favorite part of the album is easily the last half of the last song on disc one.  I love when things go crazy and then it goes into the Mercy Street reprise.  Very hard to sing along to without getting choked up!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 27, 2011, 10:53:24 PM
Definitely!  That song came on when I was doing cardio earlier today, and when it got to the reprise late in the song ("In the house of the rising sun..."), I literally got goosebumps all over both arms.  Neal is great at writing goosebump-worthy moments like that. :hat
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 28, 2011, 12:36:11 PM
So, now that Neal has released six solo prog album since leaving Spock's Beard, which six album run do you like better?   

Comparing the studio albums one-by-one...

The Light vs Testimony: Gotta go with Spock's Beard here.  Testimony has a lot of really good songs, but also has plenty of unnecessary padding.  The Light is nearly perfect - I think "On the Edge" should have been earlier in the track order, as putting a short song at the end after three long pieces makes it seem like an afterthought that they threw on there.  Plus, it has one of the best epics Neal has ever written, that being the title track.

Beware of Darkness vs One: This is tough.  Both of these are really good, but fall a hair or two short of being great.  Even with the bonus songs, I think I'll give Beware of Darkness the very slight edge, as it does have "The Doorway," also one of Neal's best epics (or mini-epics, based on your definition of epic ;)).

The Kindness of Strangers vs ?: There is no "question" which one of these is better, pun intended. :P  TKOS is good, but ? is terrific.

Day for Night vs Sola Scriptura: Both are somewhat weak by Neal's standards, but for completely different reasons.  DFN has a handful of short, forgettable songs, while not really having anything truly great (although I dig "Crack the Big Sky" and "The Gypsy" a lot).  SS, meanwhile, has two really long epics, both of which have some great parts, but both of which also sound a bit too meandering and long.  But SS's highs are higher than DFN's, so I'll give solo Neal the edge here.

V vs Lifeline : This is a beatdown of Super Bowls in the late 80s/early 90s proportions.  Lifeline is easily the weakest of the 12 here, while V is possibly the best.  No contest.

Snow vs Testimony 2: It almost seems unfair to do this now, since T2 is so new, but even though we all sometimes have the tendency to say that something new that we are loving is better than we end up realizing it is, I still gotta give the slight edge to SB.  I still love almost all of Snow, but if T2 ages as well as it, it could someday surpass it....

So, it looks like SB won 4-2.  And if I had to put the 12 in order of preference, they'd probably look like this:

1. V
2. Snow
3. ?
4. Testimony 2
5. The Light
6. Beware of Darkness
7. One
8. The Kindness of Strangers
9. Testimony
10. Sola Scriptura
11. Day for Night
12. Lifeline
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 28, 2011, 12:58:59 PM
I don't know all the SB. Really only know V and Snow.

I like Lifeline A LOT. I can see why people don't like it (as much), but I dunno, I think it is wonderful. I would give the edge to Lifeline.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 28, 2011, 07:59:16 PM
I don't know all the SB. Really only know V and Snow.

You should change that.  But be forewarned that the early albums, from a sound quality standpoint, don't sound nearly as good as almost everything Neal has released since 2000. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 28, 2011, 08:10:19 PM
Hey does anybody else think that The Truth Will Set You Free sounds VERY similar to The Water by SB?  I actually think there are a couple references.  But the biggest one is way Neal sings "just stop this haunting in my brain.....brain.....braiaiaiain", which is kinda similar to some of the phrases in the FU section.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 28, 2011, 08:26:18 PM
The FU section?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 28, 2011, 08:27:52 PM
The FU section?
From The Water.

Or if you're asking where in The Water, the middle part that starts with "you gave me this home, then you left me alone".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 28, 2011, 09:40:19 PM
I haven't noticed any "The Water" references in "The Truth..." yet, but I just may not have picked on them yet.  The bass intro to "Nighttime Collectors" is quite obviously a nod to "The Water," and he throws in some organ chords in the middle of "Time Changer" that are also from a Spock's song, but I can't place which one right now (it is probably really obvious, too :lol).

 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 28, 2011, 09:54:16 PM
I don't know all the SB. Really only know V and Snow.

You should change that.  But be forewarned that the early albums, from a sound quality standpoint, don't sound nearly as good as almost everything Neal has released since 2000. 

I tried to years ago, but the other albums didn't do much for me. I'll try again at another time. I think I remember part of it being the sound quality, yeah. But even the best SB albums don't rank above any of his solo prog stuff. :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 28, 2011, 10:22:20 PM
he throws in some organ chords in the middle of "Time Changer" that are also from a Spock's song, but I can't place which one right now (it is probably really obvious, too :lol).

"The Water"

Ironically, I'm listening to it right now on The Beard Is Out There.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on May 28, 2011, 11:25:17 PM
I'll take the Spock's Beard album in every case but Snow.

I got the book, DVD (both autographed with obligatory bible quote) and the CD on Tuesday and read the book the first night (kind of wished he'd have gone into more detail as I didn't learn much, but it was his book...still entertaining anyway) watched the DVD the second night, listened to the bonus disc the third night and listened to the CD last night.

Way too early for me to form any meaningful opinion other than to say some of it sounds a little forced to me (kind of like Snow) and where Testimony 1 has an an outpouring of relief and openess, this one seems a little more controlled. A couple of listens aren't nearly enough....
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 28, 2011, 11:55:17 PM
^ Give it time.

Actually listening to The Light album right now, on headphones! The sound quality is clear and you hear everything, but doesn't have that surround sound feel. The compositions MORE than make up for it though, one of NM and SB's best.

Speaking of which, I have all 6 of Neal's solo prog albums, all 3 TA albums, and all SB albums except Beware of Darkness, Day For Night, and Snow; which one should I get next?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 29, 2011, 07:32:00 AM
Get Snow, darkshade. Great album!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 29, 2011, 08:38:32 AM
Yeah, Snow is a must-get, for any Neal and/or SB fan.

Actually listening to The Light album right now, on headphones! The sound quality is clear and you hear everything, but doesn't have that surround sound feel. The compositions MORE than make up for it though, one of NM and SB's best.


Despite sounding pretty raw, the debut sound very organic and lush.  Definitely the best sounding of the first four.  The Kindness of Strangers is probably the worst of the bunch in that regard, as it just sounds noisy at times, especially during the most rocking parts. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 30, 2011, 10:13:11 AM
The Light vs Testimony: Gotta go with Spock's Beard here.  Testimony has a lot of really good songs, but also has plenty of unnecessary padding.  The Light is nearly perfect - I think "On the Edge" should have been earlier in the track order, as putting a short song at the end after three long pieces makes it seem like an afterthought that they threw on there.  Plus, it has one of the best epics Neal has ever written, that being the title track.

Interesting observations.  Regarding the "extra padding" on Testimony, I sort of feel that way, but feel a bit conflicted about it.  I'll make a couple of different analogies to explain what I mean:

The Shattered Fortress analogy:  For the most part, I love TSF.  But one thing that has bugged me since the biggining with that song is that there are a few parts (the "take all of me" and low-voice-Repentence-guy reprises, for example) that almost feel so unnecessary and gratuitous as to drag the song down.  HOWEVER, given what Portnoy was trying to convey with the song and the suite as a whole, they are lyrically essential.  So, really, for what the song and the suite as a whole are trying to accomplish, they need to be there despite giving off a very obvious "unnecessary" vibe.  Yeah, there's an argument that, as an artist, it was incumbent on MP to figure out a way to incorporate those necessary ideas in a way that didn't give off that vibe.  But he apparently felt that what he did worked, so I guess that pretty much ends it.  Kinda the same with Testimony.

The Lord of the Rings analogy:  To grossly oversimplify the trilogy, it is a story about a bunch of guys just going on a long, exhausting quest.  I've heard arguments over the years that Tolkien wouldn't have lost anything and actually would have gained quite a bit by being more concise in areas.  But the sheer length of the story actually works as a literary device in and of itself.  It is a long, arduous, life-changing journey, and one where the sheer length and burden of the journey in and of themselves are key agents in the changes that occur in some of the characters.  The sheer length of the narrative serves to impart those emotions on the reader.  In a way, I feel as thought Neal is doing the same thing with his story.  Yes, he could have been more concise, both lyrically and musically.  Or he could have been a bit more varied and not reused so many themes.  But I think it somehow all works in taking the listener on a journey that is meant to evoke a lot of particular emotions in very particular ways that it would be hard (and perhaps impossible) to evoke if he had done it differently. 

Feel free to disagree, but that's my take on that album.  (which is to say that I partially agree with you while on the same time acknowledging that I think what he did on Testimony works)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 30, 2011, 10:45:20 AM
I think Testimony is the only album Neal has ever done in his three main bands that has any significant filler.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 30, 2011, 10:58:51 AM
I think Testimony is the only album Neal has ever done in his three main bands that has any significant filler.

I would agree. I feel that Testimony has more filler than even Snow, and I don't think Snow has that much, if at all. On the contrary, since Testimony, Neal has done a lot to trim down filler from his albums. Unfortunately, he took out 3 songs from One, which I think sounds better with them restored in the track listing, but that's just me. He really hit it out of the ballpark with ?, and Sola Scriptura was alright (has a bit of padding, but not really filler), and Lifeline was a mediocre-to-good effort IMO, but none of the songs really screamed filler to me, just not his usual writing as we had come to expect it after the previous 3 albums.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2011, 11:07:06 AM
bosk1, I get what you are saying, and when I listen to all of Testimony (which admittedly isn't that often, since, like Snow, it is a major undertaking to have the time to listen to an album that long the whole way through), there is nothing that I think, "Meh, this stinks, so I am gonna skip it," but when going for single songs, I never listen to stuff like "Colder in the Sun" or "Power in the Air," simply because those two songs and "Moving in My Heart" all pretty much have the same melodies and whatnot, but "Moving in My Heart" by far does the best job with them, so it makes those other two expendable to me.

Also, I think the "Interlude"/"The Prince of the Power of the Air"/"The Promise" section is easily expendable, too.  "Interlude" is basically a short, uninteresting instrumental, built around the melody that is used much better in other places on the album, and "The Promise" is built around that vocal chant that sounds much better in "The Storm Before the Calm."  

Once again, it comes down to have too many musical reprises.  Having several main themes that are reused throughout the album can be a really good thing, but in the case of this record, it seems like there are too many that are overused too many times, resulting in major overkill.  But I get that Neal had a lot to say at the time, given that he had just left Spock's Beard and wanted to tell his story, so maybe he had too many lyrics and not enough musical ideas (which is not to say he didn't have a lot of good musical ideas, because he did, but there are a lot of lyrics on this record), and going for Reprise City was the way to go for him at the time. :biggrin:

Lastly, getting back to the new album, lost in the talk of Disc 1 and the awesomeness of "Seeds of Gold" is what a great song "Supernatural" is.  Very cool song, and the similarity to SB's "June" with those vocals in the middle and at the end was a nice touch. :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2011, 11:14:09 AM
Snow meanders a bit too much near the end of Disc 2 ("Freak Boy Part 2" through "Ladies and Gentleman..."), but the 1-2 punch at the end of "I Will Go" and "Made Alive Again/Wind at My Back" is :hefdaddy :hefdaddy.

I like One with the restored tracklisting, but "Nothing to Believe" really stands out as being significantly weaker than the rest of the songs.  

Also, I recently broke the first two Sola Scriptura songs into six tracks each using Audacity, and when listening to Neal on random or shuffle, some of those sections are really standing out now as being really good.  Before, they kind of got lost in attempts at grasping 30 minute songs as a whole all at once, but individually, listening to them that way has helped me get into that album a bit more.  
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 30, 2011, 11:28:18 AM
...and going for Reprise City was the way to go for him at the time.

Interesting side note.  I just google mapped Reprise City, and its main thoroughfare happens to be Mercy Street.  Wow, who knew? 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 30, 2011, 11:45:25 AM
Yeah, I agree that Testimony is a bit bloated. I see bosk's point, but like Kev, if I wanted to listen to the album, it is a serious undertaking (unless I am doing other things and music is a background).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 30, 2011, 12:12:50 PM
I think Testimony is the only album Neal has ever done in his three main bands that has any significant filler.
I would say that Snow also has significant filler. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 30, 2011, 12:45:07 PM
I think Testimony is the only album Neal has ever done in his three main bands that has any significant filler.
I would say that Snow also has significant filler. 

I thought so too at once, but as I grew to love and understand the album more, everything about it just fell into place and everything seemed to fit right where it was supposed to.

One man's filler is another man's filling.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 30, 2011, 03:00:09 PM
I think Snow is an overrated album, much because a lot of it is great, but much of it just isn't that good. But I don't find it to be filler. To me filler is, good or bad music that inflates the length of the song or album past what seems necessary or natural. I think a clear sign of filler is that you can't point out exactly which song or section is definitely filler, but you know that somewhere too much is there.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 30, 2011, 03:05:03 PM
If it's good, it isn't filler.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 30, 2011, 03:09:39 PM
And that's where you and I disagree. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Silent Cody on May 30, 2011, 03:40:02 PM
I totally get into Spock's Beard today.... til today I heard about The Band but haven't heard it. Now I know how much time I've lost...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2011, 10:33:53 PM
If it's good, it isn't filler.

But if it isn't good, it isn't automatically filler. 

I totally get into Spock's Beard today.... til today I heard about The Band but haven't heard it. Now I know how much time I've lost...

Wait, what? ???
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 31, 2011, 08:57:21 AM
I'll just leave this right here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1KGDzNKWMg


Protip: skip to 1:50
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2011, 09:06:08 AM
I'll just leave this right here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1KGDzNKWMg


Protip: skip to 1:50

So Neal did cut his hair by 1998. I thought it was later. There are barely any pics or vids online of Neal before 2000

Great vid BTW, Ansley Dunbar on drums  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 31, 2011, 09:11:00 AM
I'll just leave this right here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1KGDzNKWMg


Protip: skip to 1:50

So Neal did cut his hair by 1998. I thought it was later. There are barely any pics or vids online of Neal before 2000

Great vid BTW, Ansley Dunbar on drums  :metal

Oh, they're out there if you look.  For example, The Light, 1995 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ8ArciKdZo).  Walking On The Wind, 1997 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4pRGGUy25o).  Seek and you will find.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 31, 2011, 09:18:00 AM
Whoa, long hair.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 31, 2011, 09:20:20 AM
Wow, Walking On The Wind is really good.  (obviously, I hadn't heard it before)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 31, 2011, 09:36:36 AM
"Walking on the Wind" has one of those classic Neal Morse awesome vocal melodies. :hefdaddy
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: James007 on May 31, 2011, 09:50:20 AM
"Walking on the Wind" has one of those classic Neal Morse awesome vocal melodies. :hefdaddy
:tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 31, 2011, 09:55:55 AM
I'm really going to have to pick up some Spock's Beard now.  I think I'll start with Snow and work backward through the Neal era first and then possibly look into the "second half" of their stuff.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 31, 2011, 10:05:21 AM
I have to do the same thing, the only SB album I have is Kindness, and it's great, but I want to hear more!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2011, 10:59:44 AM
My first SB album was V, and Im glad it was that one. It's their best so far, though Kindness of Strangers is more consistently good.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on May 31, 2011, 11:17:39 AM
I have Snow and V. I got V recently and have only listened through it once. Mainly because to me it sounded a lot like Neal's solo stuff and didn't catch me right away. I need to go back and listen to it some more. Snow just hit me right away as being different sounding than other Neal Morse stuff I've heard.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kingshmegland on May 31, 2011, 12:01:53 PM
I'm really going to have to pick up some Spock's Beard now.  I think I'll start with Snow and work backward through the Neal era first and then possibly look into the "second half" of their stuff.

I think you should do it from the beginning so you can here the evolution.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 31, 2011, 12:03:26 PM
Bosk, I finally have art for my show so I will put it on DIME tonight and on my server tomorrow night.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 31, 2011, 12:03:43 PM
He'll hear the de-evolution the other way though!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kingshmegland on May 31, 2011, 12:06:39 PM
He'll hear the de-evolution the other way though!

True.  Either way I think he'll love it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 31, 2011, 12:14:29 PM
I understand starting from the beginning.  But there are two reasons I don't want to do that.

1.  After reading through the book, I am really interested in hearing the music that came out of Neal's head space at the end of his time with Spock's more than I am interested in the early stuff. 

2.  Often, when I discover a band after the fact, their earlier sound doesn't capture where my current tastes are, so the older stuff often sounds better when I can put it in context of their overall sound and evolution than if I heard the older stuff first.  Take Nightwish as an example.  I got into them during the Once era.  I had heard a song or two of their older stuff, and it didn't click.  But I got the two most recent albums at that time, and loved them both.  Then after immersing myself in those, I was able to go back to the older stuff and appreciate it.  I've gotten into a lot of older bands that way.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on May 31, 2011, 12:24:27 PM
Anything that Neal touches is gold!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 31, 2011, 12:29:04 PM
Especially Seeds!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2011, 12:33:45 PM
I have been on the craziest Neal Morse kick lately. Testimony 2 got me back in a giant NM mood and in the last week Ive listened to The Light, Testimony 2 (about 6-7 times), The Kindness of Strangers, Testimony 1 (2nd disc), One; now I'm on ? and I'm thinking of listening to more soon  :metal :metal :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kingshmegland on May 31, 2011, 12:43:11 PM
I understand starting from the beginning.  But there are two reasons I don't want to do that.

1.  After reading through the book, I am really interested in hearing the music that came out of Neal's head space at the end of his time with Spock's more than I am interested in the early stuff. 

2.  Often, when I discover a band after the fact, their earlier sound doesn't capture where my current tastes are, so the older stuff often sounds better when I can put it in context of their overall sound and evolution than if I heard the older stuff first.  Take Nightwish as an example.  I got into them during the Once era.  I had heard a song or two of their older stuff, and it didn't click.  But I got the two most recent albums at that time, and loved them both.  Then after immersing myself in those, I was able to go back to the older stuff and appreciate it.  I've gotten into a lot of older bands that way.

Interesting idea.  I'd hope you'd post album to album.  I'd like to see your take.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on May 31, 2011, 12:44:29 PM
I might work backwards too, I'm really interested in hearing Snow.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2011, 12:46:18 PM
I might work backwards too, I'm really interested in hearing Snow.

I'm thinking of getting that today at my local record store. I have 12 other NM-related albums, but not that.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 31, 2011, 06:35:50 PM
To those of you who have not heard SB's V yet, feel free to come back and drool in this thread as soon as you hear "At the End of the Day."

And if you aren't blown away by its greatness, please pick up your FAIL card at the door. :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2011, 06:41:54 PM
To those of you who have not heard SB's V yet, feel free to come back and drool in this thread as soon as you hear "At the End of the Day."

And if you aren't blown away by its greatness, please pick up your FAIL card at the door. :biggrin:

True story, I am listening to that album and very song right now! :tup

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 31, 2011, 06:44:56 PM
Well at least you're doing it and not just talking about it, because it's all about what you do and not what you say.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2011, 06:48:46 PM
"At The End Of The Day" is my favorite track from V, and probably in my Top 5 SB tracks of all time. It just has so many memoriable moments, and I love the bass guitar in it - Dave just SMOKES in this tune, especially near the end.

I'd dare say that "At The End Of The Day" is one of the greatest songs that Neal Morse has EVER written.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on May 31, 2011, 08:15:00 PM
I like At the End of The Day, but after a while it just feels like it keeps going, and going, and going. . .  Not that I'm against long songs.  The Great Nothing never feels like it drags on and it's much longer.  Anyway, that's just my opinion.  All on a Sunday is another of my favorites from V.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on May 31, 2011, 10:22:19 PM
ATEOTD is great. The Great Nothing is not great.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on May 31, 2011, 11:43:28 PM
on my 3rd spin of T2, and I continue to appreciate Neal's ability to make his music so emotionally dramatic
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on June 01, 2011, 10:30:24 AM
ATEOTD is great. The Great Nothing is not great.
This.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on June 01, 2011, 11:22:19 PM
As is the trading norm I simply ask that if you convert this to lossy formats you do so for personal use, please do not share the lossy files.

16-bit (CD)
www.nickeh.com/np/shows/NM2011-05-23.rar

24-bit (HQ PC)
www.nickeh.com/np/shows/NM2011-05-23b.rar
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on June 02, 2011, 10:52:30 AM
Sweet!  Looking forward to downloading.  This will ease the pain of not being able to see it live.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 02, 2011, 12:09:49 PM
Decided to do a runthru of all NM's stuff and started with Testimony.  I don't know why people don't much it as much as I do, cause it could be in my top 5 of all time, and easily in the top 10.  Every song is pure gold.  Can't think of anything that's filler as people have said before.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on June 02, 2011, 12:14:27 PM
There's only like 5 songs on that album that are good, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 02, 2011, 12:36:47 PM
I like the 2nd disc more than the first (for the first Testimony album), but T2 has given me a new appreciation for T1. Still everything afterwards (except Lifeline) has been better
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 02, 2011, 06:59:41 PM
There's only like 5 songs on that album that are good, in my opinion.
Which ones?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 03, 2011, 07:30:10 AM
Just listened to One again.  Dang, that is just SUCH an emotional trip.  It might beat T1 for me.  Almost every song gave me chills.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on June 03, 2011, 07:38:46 AM
Just listened to One again.  Dang, that is just SUCH an emotional trip.  It might beat T1 for me.  Almost every song gave me chills.
Its all good in my books!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on June 03, 2011, 08:02:41 AM
I just listened to V again. It is good, but not better than most of Neal's Solo stuff or Snow. The first track really reminds me of Testimony a lot. Since I heard Testimony first and am much more familiar, it just makes me want to put on Testimony.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on June 03, 2011, 08:07:53 AM
I just listened to V again. It is good, but not better than most of Neal's Solo stuff or Snow. The first track really reminds me of Testimony a lot. Since I heard Testimony first and am much more familiar, it just makes me want to put on Testimony.
"Question Mark" is better then any Spocks album imo.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on June 03, 2011, 08:16:31 AM
"Question Mark" is better then any Spocks album imo.

Well yes, it is better than any Neal Morse involved album, imo.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 03, 2011, 11:24:26 AM
So the SB album after Neal's departure has a song called "Carry On."  I am appreciating T2's closer more and more...it could be better than TTWSYF now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 03, 2011, 11:47:38 AM
Better late than never! ;) :P

And while I absolutely love ?, I can't say it is better than Snow or V.  I might have thought that at one time, but not anymore.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 03, 2011, 12:03:07 PM
TTWSYF?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 03, 2011, 12:04:06 PM
The Truth Will Set You Free.

I know, I know.  Lazy people and their acronyms (when they aren't obvious ones). :lol

Personally, if I am feeling lazy with a long song or album title, I find typing the first few words and then ... to be a lot more effective. :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 03, 2011, 12:05:05 PM
Ohhh :lol Still need to hear the new album. :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 03, 2011, 12:06:18 PM
Grooveshark has the album! :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 03, 2011, 12:07:03 PM
So does amazon.con.  And iTunes.  And Radiant Records.

Support the artist. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 03, 2011, 12:16:46 PM
Currently poor, like struggling kinda bad. I will buy it when work picks up in the fall. ;) I always buy from RR, I even bought all his non-prog solo albums to support him a few years ago (even though I wasn't too fond of a lot of it). :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on June 03, 2011, 12:24:48 PM
Better late than never! ;) :P

And while I absolutely love ?, I can't say it is better than Snow or V.  I might have thought that at one time, but not anymore.

It only beats out Snow for me because of how Snow kind of drags towards the end. V might be even below Sola Scriptura for me, but I need to give it more listens.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 03, 2011, 01:51:24 PM
Better late than never! ;) :P
I know!  I didn't really understand the context of the song.  I figured he was finished talking about leaving Spock's with Road Dog Blues.  So I was pretty confused with the "I'll love you forever but I have to say goodbye" because I thought he was talking to God.  But now that I get it...I get choked up every time I listen to it.  My most emotional line is "I can't describe how hard it was or how much we loved each other".  This has potential to beat out Somber Days for my favorite NM song.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on June 03, 2011, 09:24:01 PM
It only beats out Snow for me because of how Snow kind of drags towards the end. V might be even below Sola Scriptura for me, but I need to give it more listens.

I'm thinking opposite here (your opinion regarding Snow).  I think the second half of the second disc is pure gold.  By far the best stuff on the album.  Lots of times I'll just start listening to the album beginning at "Freak Boy" to the end of the album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Bolsters on June 04, 2011, 01:54:23 AM
I'm sorry if this has been asked before, or if it's a question that pisses people off, but I don't want to read 17 pages, so I only looked at the last couple.  :\

I wouldn't call myself a fan of Neal Morse's solo career, but I don't really think I've given it a really good chance. I've heard the odd song on Youtube but never listened to a whole album. I am pretty sure the lyrics are a big factor in this as I don't really like lyrics that are too preachy - I could get past that though if the music rawks.  :metal

So, I was just wondering, what's a good album to use as a starting point for someone unfamiliar with Neal Morse? Keep in mind I like Spock's Beard and love Transatlantic so I am likely to have a favorable opinion of the more proggy albums. I'll go and get that album and see what happens. :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 04, 2011, 01:58:48 AM
?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on June 04, 2011, 01:59:38 AM
?

Quote for truth. Seriously, this is Neal's masterpiece.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on June 04, 2011, 03:25:50 AM
"Question Mark" is better then any Spocks album imo.

Well yes, it is better than any Neal Morse involved album, imo.
Well, they never made a better album without Neal Morse, imo.
and I am still a Spocks fan by the way.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 04, 2011, 03:37:24 AM
I would say One....I never really "got" ?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: jonny108 on June 04, 2011, 03:40:46 AM
Collin Leijenaar
Unfortunately the promotor of the UK shows (SJM Concerts) cancelled our Manchester and Glasgow shows due to low ticket sales. Huge disappointment on our side!! And he changed the venue in London. More details to be followed soon!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 04, 2011, 06:39:36 AM
?

Quote for truth. Seriously, this is Neal's masterpiece.

Even though One is my favorite, I have to agree.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Bolsters on June 04, 2011, 07:17:15 AM
I'll check out "?" ASAP then. Thanks :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on June 04, 2011, 12:29:28 PM
I'll check out "?" ASAP then. Thanks :tup
Its awesome! :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on June 04, 2011, 12:29:42 PM
? is actually my least favorite of his solo stuff.  I would go for Testimony 2, easily.  There's lots of fun and upbeat stuff on there.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Revel on June 04, 2011, 01:11:34 PM
Neal Morse....
Take out the religious aspect and this would be the perfect music for me. 
Don't have all too much to say, it's been said already, he kicks ass.
Lifeline is my favorite album at the moment =]
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ich bin besser on June 04, 2011, 05:51:59 PM
Damn, 2 Neal concerts in the UK were cancelled due to low ticket sales... And the London show is in a smaller venue now. That sucks big time, but kinda reflects the state of live prog rock in these days, I think...  :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: BRGM on June 04, 2011, 06:26:32 PM
Too bad he won't come to Sweden, I'm really enjoying Testimony 2, haven't heard the first testimony yet though, heh...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 04, 2011, 09:17:22 PM
Lifeline is my favorite album at the moment =]

It's not well-liked around here, and it isn't my favorite, but I love it. Cool to see that it is somebody's favorite!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Revel on June 04, 2011, 10:55:37 PM
Lifeline is my favorite album at the moment =]

It's not well-liked around here, and it isn't my favorite, but I love it. Cool to see that it is somebody's favorite!

I can't imagine why :T 
Oh, Testimony II is pretty high up on my favorites list too.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 05, 2011, 04:56:23 AM
Too bad he won't come to Sweden, I'm really enjoying Testimony 2, haven't heard the first testimony yet though, heh...
Change that.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on June 05, 2011, 05:43:10 AM
As is the trading norm I simply ask that if you convert this to lossy formats you do so for personal use, please do not share the lossy files.

16-bit (CD)
www.nickeh.com/np/shows/NM2011-05-23.rar

24-bit (HQ PC)
www.nickeh.com/np/shows/NM2011-05-23b.rar
BTW, thanks a lot for this, Nick.  I downloaded yesterday but haven't had time to listen yet.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on June 05, 2011, 06:59:48 AM
Damn, 2 Neal concerts in the UK were cancelled due to low ticket sales... And the London show is in a smaller venue now. That sucks big time, but kinda reflects the state of live prog rock in these days, I think...  :(

That's awful news. Its just a shame that the world has little interest in some of the best music being made. :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 05, 2011, 07:26:19 AM
Damn, 2 Neal concerts in the UK were cancelled due to low ticket sales... And the London show is in a smaller venue now. That sucks big time, but kinda reflects the state of live prog rock in these days, I think...  :(

That's awful news. Its just a shame that the world has little interest in some of the best music being made. :(
Yeah, I can't believe it.  But I think the religiosity aspect hasn't really helped Neal in terms of getting bigger, though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on June 05, 2011, 07:38:03 AM
Damn, 2 Neal concerts in the UK were cancelled due to low ticket sales... And the London show is in a smaller venue now. That sucks big time, but kinda reflects the state of live prog rock in these days, I think...  :(

That's awful news. Its just a shame that the world has little interest in some of the best music being made. :(
Yeah, I can't believe it.  But I think the religiosity aspect hasn't really helped Neal in terms of getting bigger, though.
I just feel sorry for the fans like myself and especially my wife who would have been devastated had this had happened to the New York show.
She cried all night during that show. It was a dream come true for her to see Neal. I think she was one of maybe ten females in the entire venue.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 05, 2011, 07:47:18 AM
I just learned that Nick might not be able to play at HVF and they might have someone else front the band if that's the case...do you think it could be Neal?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on June 05, 2011, 07:59:29 AM
Nick not being there was announced months and months ago, and the replacement is Ted Leonard.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 05, 2011, 08:02:08 AM
Aw ok....well do you think there will be a chance that there's a song they do together?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on June 09, 2011, 02:31:28 PM
Testimony 2 is still awesome for me. One may be creeping past Testimony also. Hard to say because I'm so familiar with Testimony.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 09, 2011, 02:39:21 PM
I think she was one of maybe ten females in the entire venue.

Eleven if you count Nick.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on June 09, 2011, 02:53:41 PM
Sticks and stones.  :'(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 09, 2011, 02:55:49 PM
Snakes and arrows.   :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: juice on June 10, 2011, 07:29:57 PM
So I just got Testimony and I'm listening to it for the first time right now.  Seems good so far.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on June 11, 2011, 06:48:55 AM
I think she was one of maybe ten females in the entire venue.

Eleven if you count Nick.


(http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i238/hefdaddy42/DTF/METAL.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: metropofreak on June 17, 2011, 09:26:50 AM
I went to the London show last night. It was absolutely amazing, every second of it. Neal and his band were just so epic, and it was such a heartfelt performance. He is easily one of my favourite musicians around these days. Here is a video i took of 'Mercy Street':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QszeEpIJ6U0
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Durg on June 17, 2011, 09:40:45 AM
I went to the London show last night. It was absolutely amazing, every second of it. Neal and his band were just so epic, and it was such a heartfelt performance. He is easily one of my favourite musicians around these days. Here is a video i took of 'Mercy Street':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QszeEpIJ6U0


For a second there I thought he was going to start playing "Fooling Yourself" by Styx.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on June 17, 2011, 11:16:18 AM
My friend just gave me Neal's new book. Looks like I got some reading to do.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: juice on June 18, 2011, 01:11:38 AM
I Am Willing is such a nice song.  :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 19, 2011, 06:16:05 PM
Listened to One yesterday on a long trip to work. Definitely my favorite NM album ever. The Creation is my favorite, Cradle to the Grave is just beautiful, and Author of Confusion is such a different song, and brilliantly executed.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 19, 2011, 08:22:33 PM
Oh boy! Doing my first official listen to disc 1...I've heard It's For You and maybe a bit of another song here or there...this is awesome.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 19, 2011, 08:49:08 PM
I Am Willing is such a nice song.  :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on June 20, 2011, 12:18:16 AM
My friend just gave me Neal's new book. Looks like I got some reading to do.

I was hoping for more, but it's OK I guess. Pretty easy read. Shouldn't take you long to finish.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 20, 2011, 12:08:23 PM
Oh boy! Doing my first official listen to disc 1...I've heard It's For You and maybe a bit of another song here or there...this is awesome.

 :tup :tup

Also:

Love knocked upon my door one day
In the midst of my suffering
How can a dream so far away
Become a blazing reality… YEAH!
In the house of the rising sun
Still the snow falls down on mercy street
We’re awaiting to become one
But we LOVE
For now
As the snow falls
Down on mercy street

 :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Icebear on June 22, 2011, 04:35:58 PM
I'm still waiting for Radiant to deliver my copy of T2+ the book. It's about a month late. I'm sure it's quite amazing, though.

As far as the older albums go, I do prefer "?".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on June 22, 2011, 06:57:57 PM
Oh boy! Doing my first official listen to disc 1...I've heard It's For You and maybe a bit of another song here or there...this is awesome.

 :tup :tup

Also:

Love knocked upon my door one day
In the midst of my suffering
How can a dream so far away
Become a blazing reality… YEAH!
In the house of the rising sun
Still the snow falls down on mercy street
We’re awaiting to become one
But we LOVE
For now
As the snow falls
Down on mercy street

 :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy



THis is such an awesome moment.  I sing along to the song but when I get to this part I have to start mouthing the words because I get choked up every time.  Best album ending EVAR!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on June 22, 2011, 07:06:11 PM
I'm still waiting for Radiant to deliver my copy of T2+ the book. It's about a month late. I'm sure it's quite amazing, though.

That's absolutely ridiculous. I would be all over them.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 22, 2011, 10:09:39 PM
I'm still waiting for Radiant to deliver my copy of T2+ the book. It's about a month late

That is unacceptable, but not at all surprising to me. I got burned by them several times in regards to new releases taking forever to get to me, which is why I don't order from there anymore.  It sucks because I'd like to order straight from them, as Neal probably gets more of the money that way, but it is hard rewarding bad service.

Love knocked upon my door one day
In the midst of my suffering
How can a dream so far away
Become a blazing reality… YEAH!
In the house of the rising sun
Still the snow falls down on mercy street
We’re awaiting to become one
But we LOVE
For now
As the snow falls
Down on mercy street

 :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy

THis is such an awesome moment.  I sing along to the song but when I get to this part I have to start mouthing the words because I get choked up every time.  Best album ending EVAR!

 :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on June 23, 2011, 10:57:44 AM
If you email radiant with an issue, they will get back to you pretty quick to get it resolved.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 25, 2011, 11:19:38 AM
Wow. THIS ALBUM IS AWESOME

Listened about 6 times now. My new NM rankings would be:

One
?
SS
T2
LL
T1
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on June 25, 2011, 03:01:55 PM
If you email radiant with an issue, they will get back to you pretty quick to get it resolved.

They've ALWAYS been good to me and very responsive the one time I had a problem with an order.

My only problem with them has ALWAYS been the higher-than-average shipping cost. I write that off in cases where I get something extra like a signature and some other bonus-like incentive.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 26, 2011, 08:56:32 AM
Wow. THIS ALBUM IS AWESOME

Listened about 6 times now. My new NM rankings would be:

One
?
SS
T2
LL
T1

 :tup :tup to your first comment, but still only your 4th favorite? 

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 26, 2011, 09:23:44 AM
Wow. THIS ALBUM IS AWESOME

Listened about 6 times now. My new NM rankings would be:

One
?
SS
T2
LL
T1

 :tup :tup to your first comment, but still only your 4th favorite? 



Being wary of ranking it high because of that fresh album perspective...I am confident it will beat SS as well, but I don't want to say so soon enough.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 27, 2011, 08:25:23 AM
Makes sense :)  The important thing is that you are already loving it like crazy. :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 27, 2011, 08:33:01 AM
Yeah, it's like T1 but with all the good and without the fluff. I love Lifeline actually, but this album is better spread out than LL. SS is still a beast of an album, The Door is one of my favorite songs and the rest is fantastic. ? and One...well, they are the best. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 27, 2011, 08:36:11 AM
BTW, for those of us who are digging this, in what order do you like the songs on Disc 1?  I'd probably go something like this (bearing in my mind that there are no weak spots):

Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise
It's for You
The Truth Will Set You Free
Mercy Street
Time Has Come Today
Nighttime Collectors
Road Dog Blues
Chance of a Lifetime
Time Changer (yes, it has grown on me)
Jesus Bring Me Home
Jayda
Jesus' Blood
Overture No. 4
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on June 27, 2011, 08:41:46 AM
Still too early for me to rank all of them, but TTWSYF and It's For You are definitely top 2.



Edit: The "Where is the rain?" part is just perfect....amazes me every time.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on June 27, 2011, 10:11:52 AM
BTW, for those of us who are digging this, in what order do you like the songs on Disc 1?  I'd probably go something like this (bearing in my mind that there are no weak spots):

Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise
It's for You
The Truth Will Set You Free
Mercy Street
Time Has Come Today
Nighttime Collectors
Road Dog Blues
Chance of a Lifetime
Time Changer (yes, it has grown on me)
Jesus Bring Me Home
Jayda
Jesus' Blood
Overture No. 4

Wow, this is harder than I thought.  Lots of songs and I love them all. . .  I'll give it a shot:

Crossing Over/Mercy St reprise
Mercy Street
Overture 4
Jayda
Jesus Bring Me home
Chance of a Lifetime
Nighttime Collectors
Time has Come today
The Truth Will Set You Free
It's For you
Jesus blood
Time Changer
Road Dog Blues

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Quadrochosis on June 27, 2011, 06:27:58 PM
Time Changer is the best song on T2
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 28, 2011, 01:17:16 AM
Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise
The Truth Will Set You Free
Jesus' Blood
Mercy Street
Nighttime Collectors
**everything else**
Road Dog Blues
Time Changer
Chance of a Lifetime

That's all I could come up with so far.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on July 24, 2011, 10:45:15 PM
Wasnt one of the shows on his T2 tour recorded? anyone hear any updates about this? if im mistaken i appologize.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on July 24, 2011, 11:25:37 PM
Anybody really like this album who DIDN'T like Testimony 1?  I still haven't had a chance to check it out, but I can't say the prospect of a sequel to my least favorite Neal Morse album got me too excited.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on July 24, 2011, 11:32:17 PM
It didn't get me excited either, but while I like the first Testimony, this new one blows it out of the water on pretty much every level.  And I don't really even think of it as a sequel.  The reprises are thankfully left to a bare minimum.  And I say "thankfully" not because the first one didn't have good themes that were worthy of being reprised, but because I didn't want T2 to turn into a reprisal fest.  Which it didn't.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on July 25, 2011, 05:51:26 AM
Anybody really like this album who DIDN'T like Testimony 1?  I still haven't had a chance to check it out, but I can't say the prospect of a sequel to my least favorite Neal Morse album got me too excited.

-J

I'll be honest, T1 is my least favorite NM prog album...it's really bloated despite all the great riffs/melodies. Some gems, but too much filler and reprising.

T2 is the opposite. Reprises are done very well and nowhere near as often (across the whole album I mean), and it flows so much better and is a lot more concise than T1. It's on par with his best solo prog albums (?, One).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on July 25, 2011, 09:13:19 AM
The reprises are thankfully left to a bare minimum.  And I say "thankfully" not because the first one didn't have good themes that were worthy of being reprised, but because I didn't want T2 to turn into a reprisal fest.  Which it didn't.

*bosk1 likes this post*

As for ranking:

1.  One
2.  Sola Scriptura
3.  Testimony
...
4.  Testimony 2
...
5.  ?
6.  Lifeline
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on July 25, 2011, 09:16:02 AM
1. Testimony
2. Testimony 2
3. One
4. Lifeline
5. Sola Scriptura
6. ?

I like Neal's storytelling better than I like his preaching, which reflects in my ranking.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on July 26, 2011, 07:20:48 AM
The previous 2 lists contain a healthy dose of failure. :)


1. One
2. ?
3. Testimony 2
4. Sola Scriptura
5. Lifeline
6. Testimony
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on July 26, 2011, 11:39:39 AM
Even though Ive only been familiar with his solo albums since last summer, Testimony 1 never clicked for me, for similar reasons as stated above. Good; but too much. Testimony 2 is just stellar, fits on one album, and it's a breeze to get through. It also rocks a little harder than T1.

1. ?
2. Testimony 2
3. Sola Scriptura
4. One
5. Testimony
6. Lifeline (this one has been growing on me, and may move up to #5 soon)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on July 26, 2011, 02:49:39 PM
The previous 2 lists contain a healthy dose of failure. :)

As does any studio album rankings list that ignores Neal's first two albums. :facepalm: :biggrin:

1. Testimony Two
2. ?
3. One
4. Neal Morse
5. Testimony
6. Sola Scriptura
7. Lifeline
8. It's Not Too Late
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on July 26, 2011, 02:50:39 PM
The previous 2 lists contain a healthy dose of failure. :)

As does any studio album rankings list that ignores Neal's first two albums. :facepalm: :biggrin:

Stop making things up.  We're only counting the real albums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on July 26, 2011, 02:57:32 PM
The previous 2 lists contain a healthy dose of failure. :)

As does any studio album rankings list that ignores Neal's first two albums. :facepalm: :biggrin:

An even bigger failure is that you are forgetting Songs from the Highway (AND YES IT DOES COUNT).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on July 26, 2011, 06:55:44 PM
1. ?
2. One
3. Testimony 2
4. Lifeline
5. Sola Scriptura
6. Testimony

I find minimal quality drops after 1, 2, and 3, but I think Sola and T1 are both considerably worse than the rest, though both are still good alums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on July 26, 2011, 08:36:19 PM
I'll rank the albums. . .

1. Testimony 2
2. Testimony
3. One
4. Sola Scriptura
5. Lifeline
6. ?
7. Songs from the highway
8. God Won't Give Up
9. Neal Morse
10. It's Not Too Late

Really, 1 through 5 are all close, I consider them all masterpieces (yes, even Lifeline, because So Many Roads is like, my fav song ever!).

One and Sola Scriptura, although they aren't at top of the list, have received the most playing time.  But maybe I've overlistened, as I don't go back to them very often anymore.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on July 26, 2011, 10:18:27 PM


An even bigger failure is that you are forgetting Songs from the Highway (AND YES IT DOES COUNT).


No it doesn't.  If we are gonna count that, then we have to count all of those worship albums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on July 27, 2011, 10:14:17 AM


An even bigger failure is that you are forgetting Songs from the Highway (AND YES IT DOES COUNT).


No it doesn't.  If we are gonna count that, then we have to count all of those worship albums.

Yea Im pretty sure most people, at least on these boards, dont have them
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on July 27, 2011, 08:30:58 PM
.... soooo nothing about a Neal Morse dvd?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on July 27, 2011, 08:33:49 PM
Yes, there will be a DVD.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on July 27, 2011, 08:36:48 PM


An even bigger failure is that you are forgetting Songs from the Highway (AND YES IT DOES COUNT).


No it doesn't.  If we are gonna count that, then we have to count all of those worship albums.

Yea Im pretty sure most people, at least on these boards, dont have them

Which isn't a bad thing.  I bought one of them years ago, 'cause it was fairly cheap, and thought it might be good.  But I was wrong.  Thank God (literally) that Neal saves that stuff for the worship CDs.  If non-believers thought his regular CDs were too preachy or whatever, their heads would explode after one worship CD song. :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on July 27, 2011, 09:32:04 PM
Yes, there will be a DVD.

Yes and IIRC, they filmed the LA show with the US band, so I hope the entire show gets released! Ideally, I'd buy a 2-DVD set, a disc for each leg of the tour - the US band and shows, and the European band and shows, since they had different setlists for each band, it'd be nice if we got video of almost all the songs they played on the tour!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on July 27, 2011, 11:35:46 PM
awesome! thanks :D

and yeah the US and EU sets would be awesome!  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on July 28, 2011, 07:01:53 PM


An even bigger failure is that you are forgetting Songs from the Highway (AND YES IT DOES COUNT).


No it doesn't.  If we are gonna count that, then we have to count all of those worship albums.

Wait, what? SFTH doesn't relate to the worship CD's. How do you count the other 2 albums you did initially, but not SFTH? I can see not counting the worship CD's.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on July 28, 2011, 08:19:53 PM
Because those first two solo albums were officially released studio albums that were available everywhere, while Songs from the Highway, like the worship CDs, are ones you can pretty much only buy at his website (not counting people who sell used copies at amazon, for example).  You can still buy the first album and It's Not Too Late at amazon (albeit the latter as an import only, but it used to be sold as a normal release there).  

In other words, albums like the worship CDs and Songs from the Highway are like DT's ytsejam releases: they are not "official" releases, which is why they are only available at the artists' site (or one ran by the artist, like ytsejam was when Portnoy was in DT).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on July 28, 2011, 08:21:52 PM
Oh crap, yeah that makes sense.

Forgot about your sig. :facepalm:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on August 02, 2011, 07:30:04 PM
Songs From The Road has the Metal Blade logo on it. It's not a self release.  


Songs From The Road is also one of his best releases ever in my opinion.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on August 22, 2011, 09:13:44 AM
Listening to Bridge Across Forever right now, and based on sheer beauty, I think it's the most beautiful Neal Morse-related album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 22, 2011, 01:12:51 PM
Listening to Bridge Across Forever right now, and based on sheer beauty, I think it's the most beautiful Neal Morse-related album.


I'll still SMPTE by a hair over it, but it's close. :hat
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 22, 2011, 03:49:15 PM
Listening to Bridge Across Forever right now, and based on sheer beauty, I think it's the most beautiful Neal Morse-related album.


BAF is far and away one of my favorite albums of ALL TIME. It's just an amazing piece of music and all the songs are so well done. And the shared movements/motifs across the album give it a really good cohesive sound. And the track order is perfect - I'm glad Mike won that argument with Neal as I'm not sure the album would have sounded better any other way.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 22, 2011, 05:38:52 PM
I love BAF, but have never thought that the title track was good with the flow.  I can't imagine it in any other spot in the running order, but it just feels out of place a bit.  I always thought it was odd that they put what is essentially a solo Neal song on a TA record.  Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful song, but given how few tracks they do per album, dedicating one to one member, when that member could have easily put it on one of his solo records, just seemed a bit weird.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 22, 2011, 09:16:02 PM
I love BAF, but have never thought that the title track was good with the flow.  I can't imagine it in any other spot in the running order, but it just feels out of place a bit.  I always thought it was odd that they put what is essentially a solo Neal song on a TA record.  Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful song, but given how few tracks they do per album, dedicating one to one member, when that member could have easily put it on one of his solo records, just seemed a bit weird.

I thought so too at first, but apparently it moved the others so well that they didn't want to touch it at all because they felt Neal did it so well by himself, and to add or change anything by the other three members might have seemed a bit damaging to the song. I remember Pete as saying he cried when he first heard Neal's demo of the song, and that Mike really loved it as well, and I'm pretty positive Roine had the same sentiments.

I think they loved it enough to let Neal put it on the album, and even name the album after it. I enjoy the Neal ballads that they have put on TA albums - "We All Need Some Light", "Bridge Across Forever" and "Rose Colored Glasses" (which IIRC was essentially a near-finished song/demo when Neal presented it to the others during the making of The Whirlwind). I think "Bridge Across Forever" is a good breather on an album of 3 multi-movement epics, and gives it some balance.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 25, 2011, 08:23:08 PM
http://www.nealmorse.com/

Quote
COMING SOON!!!
Fresh from Neal Morse's recent T2 World Tour, comes this amazing package consisting of 3 Audio CDs and 2 Full Length DVDs with over 3 hours of mind blowing music and a whopping 4 hours of concert footage and extras! Guaranteed to excite and satisfy the prog fan this Christmas and for years to come.

This is the closest you can get to being on the tour without actually being there! Contains professionally shot footage of the historic reunion of Neal Morse and Spock's Beard, Live from the High Voltage Festival in London and a 90 minute behind the scenes tour documentary!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on August 25, 2011, 08:25:20 PM
YES
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 25, 2011, 11:42:25 PM
I'll be all over this.  Testimony Two has owned me all summer, and getting a live performance of the whole first disc (plus plenty of other tunes) is a no-brainer purchase for this fan. :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on August 26, 2011, 02:03:07 AM
Looks like this is going to be my first Neal Morse DVD!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on August 26, 2011, 05:21:00 PM
Cool.  Will definitely have to pick this up.  I didn't see a track listing.  Anyone know what's going to be on this?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 26, 2011, 06:21:11 PM
Cool.  Will definitely have to pick this up.  I didn't see a track listing.  Anyone know what's going to be on this?

As far as I know, the US Leg of the T2 Tour was pretty consistent. The First set was usually:
Lifeline
Leviathan
The Separated Man
The Door (cut off after All I Ask for, with Come Out of Her)
Seeds of Gold
Testimony, Part 5 (Overture No. 3/Rejoice/Oh Lord My God/God's Theme)

The second set was Testimony 2 in it's entirety, and the encore included "Reunion", and usually preceded by "Sing It High", but in Mexico they did "We All Need Some Light", in NYC they did "Bridge Across Forever", and in Springfield VA and LA (the Whittier show, the one being released) they only had "Reunion" as an encore.

As for how it'll fit across 3 CDs, I can't imagine splitting up T2 off of one CD, but if there are some extended parts, it wouldn't fit since the original album itself was pretty much to CD-capacity as it was! Given that, I'd assume the following.
Disc 1 (about 60 minutes)
Lifeline
Leviathan
The Separated Man
The Door (cut off after All I Ask for, with Come Out of Her)

Disc 2 (about 60 minutes)
Seeds of Gold
T1 Part 5
T2 Part 6

Disc 3 (about 70 minutes)
T2 Part 7
T2 Part 8
Reunion

Just my guess, though.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 13, 2011, 12:20:22 PM
Time for a bump, just so I can say once again that the Mercy Street reprise in Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise is as awesome as almost anything ever.  I still get goosebumps every time it kicks in.

"In the house of the rising sun,
still the snow falls down on mercy street..."

 :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 13, 2011, 06:11:53 PM
I need to pull this out and listen again.  There's been so much cool music in the last two months or so that this has been sitting on the shelf.  Can't wait for the live album though.

Cool that they played Seeds of Gold.  Some other good stuff, too.  But I'm not thrilled with Lifeline, Leviathan, and the fact that they cut off The Door.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 13, 2011, 06:14:07 PM
I haven't listened to T2 in months. I think I burned myself out on NM. I do love T2, but...I have no desire to listen to it. Or anything else.

But this happens sometimes, and in a few months I bet I'll be going on a NM prog spree.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: SystematicThought on October 13, 2011, 08:11:39 PM
I am eagerly awaiting my copy of T2 and the book to get to my doorstep.

In the meantime, I'm in contact with Neal over him coming to my school and giving his testimony during one of our chapel services. Me and my Scripture teacher are eagerly waiting his decision
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 13, 2011, 11:32:25 PM
Is it just me or does Crossing Over have really really heavy autotune effects?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on October 13, 2011, 11:52:27 PM
I haven't listened to T2 in months. I think I burned myself out on NM. I do love T2, but...I have no desire to listen to it. Or anything else.

But this happens sometimes, and in a few months I bet I'll be going on a NM prog spree.

Yes, this.

And I'm waiting for my T2Live/TALive CD/DVD Special Edition Package Bundle (With possible signage)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Bongasti on October 14, 2011, 12:34:59 AM
Hm, I got Testimony 2 in early june, and I still listen to it all the time. It's so great. I think I'll have to get the live DVD.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 14, 2011, 12:58:35 PM
Preview from the forthcoming live DVD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r23P04SIY3Q
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on October 14, 2011, 01:50:20 PM
I listened to T2 this morning at the gym.   It's really a great album. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on October 16, 2011, 09:04:52 AM
Preview from the forthcoming live DVD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r23P04SIY3Q


Whatever people say about that album, I love that song. And So Many Roads.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 16, 2011, 09:09:24 AM
Preview from the forthcoming live DVD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r23P04SIY3Q


Jesus Christ, that song slays live! :omg:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on October 16, 2011, 11:43:45 AM
The quality kind of sucked - or rather, the lighting was non-existent.

But then again it's the emotion of the performance that drives Morse, not a fancy light show.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on October 16, 2011, 12:14:46 PM
Yeah true. I was shocked by the 'middle school band night' stage directing. But it's allright.

Apparently the boxset is only coming out 5 november, add 2 weeks shipping, man I have to wait a while for that...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 16, 2011, 07:19:06 PM
Been listening to T2 a lot.  Rather than try to interpret the lyrics the way I wanted to interpret them, I let them be the way they were...and it went from being a boring album to absolutely amazing!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 17, 2011, 06:28:47 PM
Anyone like Children of the Chosen?  It's one that I initially threw out as being corny and preachy, but I just gave Lifeline a listen and it was a track that really stood out to me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 17, 2011, 06:34:07 PM
COTC is maybe my favorite off of Lifeline. I love the whole atmosphere and tone.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nekov on October 17, 2011, 06:50:31 PM
Preview from the forthcoming live DVD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r23P04SIY3Q

 :omg: Never seen NM live before. I want to get that DVD!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 17, 2011, 07:17:26 PM
Anyone like Children of the Chosen?  It's one that I initially threw out as being corny and preachy, but I just gave Lifeline a listen and it was a track that really stood out to me.
Yes, I like it a lot.  In fact, I like the whole album a lot, with the exception of Fly High.

BTW, that DVD looks like it will be amazing.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 17, 2011, 07:27:42 PM
Anyone like Children of the Chosen?  It's one that I initially threw out as being corny and preachy, but I just gave Lifeline a listen and it was a track that really stood out to me.
Yes, I like it a lot.  In fact, I like the whole album a lot, with the exception of Fly High.

I still think you liked it at one point.

Mr. 42
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 17, 2011, 07:38:46 PM
No.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 17, 2011, 07:43:06 PM
Yes, you did.

Case closed. You can't argue with me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 17, 2011, 07:53:05 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 17, 2011, 07:54:46 PM
Oh dad. I see that you do love me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 17, 2011, 08:09:11 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 17, 2011, 11:22:41 PM
Why don't you like Fly High?  I don't like it for my own reasons, but I am curious to see why you think it's the worst?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Bongasti on October 18, 2011, 07:13:27 AM
He released another preview from the Testimony 2 live DVD...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U23t8aPOAU&feature=feedu
The Truth Will Set You Free FULL SONG (!!)

Probably my second favorite song from the first disc, and it's great live!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 18, 2011, 07:28:36 AM
Such a minor thing to complain about, but I just can't help it...  DUDE!  That green and blue striped rugby shirt is incredibly distracting!  Go report to wardrobe immediately!  >:(

Oh, and @ Neal death growl at 3:11:  :metalol:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on October 18, 2011, 07:38:29 AM
One of the comments on the old video (I believe a trailer) was: Rick Altiser has stolen one of James May's shirts.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 18, 2011, 07:47:37 AM
Man, while performance wise Neal Morse solo might be more interesting simply by virtue of the fact that there's more performers and lots of different instruments on stage, the quality of the stage show is noticeably lower. Transatlantic had some pretty decent light stuff going on. Neal Morse solo really looks like a it was filmed in a church basement.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 18, 2011, 07:51:54 AM
Oh, and @ Neal death growl at 3:11:  :metalol:

Wow. Was totally expecting him to go all out after that build up. It's like, he was thinking about it, took one more look at the audience, and figured "better not."

You gotta wonder, though. Why do that yourself, when you've got the King of disappointing Ro's jamming away right behind you?  ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 18, 2011, 08:00:18 AM
On the album, I assumed Mike was doubling it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 18, 2011, 08:32:02 AM
Except that he didn't growl it at all. :lol

And yeah, that guy in the green and brown striped shirt should be kicked in the chins for wearing that, for two reasons: 1) It is an ugly shirt in general, and 2) It is definitely somewhat distracting.

The song sounded cool, though. :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 18, 2011, 08:33:15 AM
I'm just amazed at how much energy has been breathed into "Lifeline." I think I might pass on the "More Never Is Enough" and make this my first NM DVD purchase.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 18, 2011, 09:51:32 AM
Why don't you like Fly High?  I don't like it for my own reasons, but I am curious to see why you think it's the worst?
There is nothing musically that I find appealing whatsoever.  I can't comment on the lyrics, because I don't listen to the song enough to be familiar with them. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 18, 2011, 01:52:03 PM
I still think Lifeline could have been a great 7-8 minute song.  The intro goes on a bit too long (that quirky part from 3:18 to 3:36 was pretty unnecessary, and sounds like they tacked it on there for the hell of it), and I think a shorter, more concise middle instrumental section would have been better.  As is, I like the song (definitely the best song from an otherwise average record), but it could have been so much better with some trimming.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 18, 2011, 04:17:32 PM
I still think Lifeline could have been a great 7-8 minute song.  The intro goes on a bit too long (that quirky part from 3:18 to 3:36 was pretty unnecessary, and sounds like they tacked it on there for the hell of it), and I think a shorter, more concise middle instrumental section would have been better.  As is, I like the song (definitely the best song from an otherwise average record), but it could have been so much better with some trimming.

It's the outro that is too long, though that DVD makes it so epic that I'm glad for it now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 18, 2011, 04:19:37 PM
Neal Morse does not sound that good from that live preview of TTWSYF.  He sounds like he has a cold.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on October 20, 2011, 05:50:37 AM
I still think Lifeline could have been a great 7-8 minute song.  The intro goes on a bit too long (that quirky part from 3:18 to 3:36 was pretty unnecessary, and sounds like they tacked it on there for the hell of it), and I think a shorter, more concise middle instrumental section would have been better.  As is, I like the song (definitely the best song from an otherwise average record), but it could have been so much better with some trimming.

What about So Many Roads?!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 20, 2011, 08:21:49 AM
It's okay.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 20, 2011, 09:18:40 AM
I'm not really crazy about any of the songs on that album, although I bet they're great live.  Although I am a Christian and love the lyrics and themes in most of Neal's music, I am not a fan of "contemporary christian" pop music.  To me, Neal's music shines when he is just out there going nuts in full-on prog mode.  And even though the songs on Lifeline easily qualify as prog, they feel more like "contemporary christian" pop to me.  There's just very little on that album that I gravitate to, even though I love all of the other solo albums from T1 onward.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 20, 2011, 09:46:52 AM
I am fairly widely exposed to what you refer to as Contemporary Christian Pop, and trust me when I say that nothing on Lifeline reminds me of that at all.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 20, 2011, 09:49:15 AM
I'm not really crazy about any of the songs on that album, although I bet they're great live.  Although I am a Christian and love the lyrics and themes in most of Neal's music, I am not a fan of "contemporary christian" pop music.  To me, Neal's music shines when he is just out there going nuts in full-on prog mode.  And even though the songs on Lifeline easily qualify as prog, they feel more like "contemporary christian" pop to me.  There's just very little on that album that I gravitate to, even though I love all of the other solo albums from T1 onward.

Have you ever shared NM's music with someone who only listens to Christian Pop? I did that last year, with a friend who was kinda "mentoring" me through some issues I was having with my faith. I burnt them "?" onto a disc. And the next day she was practically in tears talking about how awesome it was.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 20, 2011, 09:57:28 AM
I am fairly widely exposed to what you refer to as Contemporary Christian Pop, and trust me when I say that nothing on Lifeline reminds me of that at all.

Well, good for you then.  But I was talking about what it reminded me of.

I'm not really crazy about any of the songs on that album, although I bet they're great live.  Although I am a Christian and love the lyrics and themes in most of Neal's music, I am not a fan of "contemporary christian" pop music.  To me, Neal's music shines when he is just out there going nuts in full-on prog mode.  And even though the songs on Lifeline easily qualify as prog, they feel more like "contemporary christian" pop to me.  There's just very little on that album that I gravitate to, even though I love all of the other solo albums from T1 onward.

Have you ever shared NM's music with someone who only listens to Christian Pop? I did that last year, with a friend who was kinda "mentoring" me through some issues I was having with my faith. I burnt them "?" onto a disc. And the next day she was practically in tears talking about how awesome it was.

Not really.  I actually don't know many people who listen to much of that. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 20, 2011, 11:49:14 AM
I am fairly widely exposed to what you refer to as Contemporary Christian Pop, and trust me when I say that nothing on Lifeline reminds me of that at all.

Well, good for you then.  But I was talking about what it reminded me of.

Jeez, man.   Crabby much today? ;)  hef was just making a relevant point.  And I agree with him.  One listen of any of his worship CDs tells you how far his normal album stuff is from CCP.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 20, 2011, 11:53:01 AM
Except that it's not really a relevant point.  I wasn't trying to incorrectly fit it into that genre, so I don't need to be corrected about whether or not it actually fits.  I know it doesn't, and I said that in my original post.  I just said that, for some reason, to me, it just reminds me of that genre, which is one that I don't care for.  I just don't really like the album for reasons that are really hard to explain, so I'm just doing my best to put a really abstract feeling into words.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 20, 2011, 12:35:22 PM
I sort of hear you.  Musically, it's dissimilar to contemporary Christian music, but lyrically and thematically, it's almost identical...

I want to say that Neal Morse's best songs are the ones about conflict and inner struggle.  We see that all over both Testimonies, One, and Sola Scriptura (don't know about ?).  Some of my favorite songs are the more depressing ones, like Somber Days, All I Can Do, Jesus Bring Me Home, and Cradle to the Grave.  Heck, I even like the happy upbeat ones if they are well-placed, like Oh Lord My God and Sing It High.

But Lifeline's problem is that it is pretty much all positive*.  That's inherently fine, I guess, but it just doesn't make for a very interesting album.
 
*Except for Leviathan, which I don't even count as music.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on October 20, 2011, 12:54:53 PM
I love when this thread gets revived.

Ive been slowly but surely getting back into this music after some time away, and Neal's albums have been making their way into my rotation. Started with Testimony 2 which I actually went 2 months without listening to!!! Now I'm on Testimony 1, and it's so much more enjoyable than when I first got it. Maybe T2 helped, but it's so good.

Lifeline is ok, obviously the title track is the best, but I found most of the other songs enjoyable with the exception of a couple. I have to go back to this one soon to make a clear judgment.

I don't care much for the new Transatlantic live album; it just doesn't feel necessary. I await TA4 instead!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on October 20, 2011, 01:31:19 PM
I love when this thread gets revived.

Other threads get revived.

THIS thread gets resurrected. :D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on October 20, 2011, 01:40:47 PM
I love when this thread gets revived.

Other threads get revived.

THIS thread gets resurrected. :D

Oh, but of course; and with Jesus' Blood.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on October 20, 2011, 03:00:01 PM
I love when this thread gets revived.

Other threads get revived.

THIS thread gets resurrected. :D


Rejoiced? :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on October 20, 2011, 03:05:37 PM
I love when this thread gets revived.

Other threads get revived.

THIS thread gets resurrected. :D


Rejoiced? :)

No, reprised! :neverusethis:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on October 20, 2011, 03:13:56 PM
 :rollin
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on October 22, 2011, 11:01:30 AM
No sooner is this thread resurrected, does it DIIIIEEEE-IIIEEEE!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 22, 2011, 05:45:16 PM
No sooner is this thread resurrected, does it DIIIIEEEE-IIIEEEE!!!
Nonono, like this: "diiiiiiiiiii---------------ie".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 23, 2011, 06:04:27 AM
I am fairly widely exposed to what you refer to as Contemporary Christian Pop, and trust me when I say that nothing on Lifeline reminds me of that at all.

Well, good for you then.  But I was talking about what it reminded me of.
Fine, but it makes as much sense as if I said that I dislike Opeth because it reminds me of Mary Poppins.  I'm not defending the worth of "Christian pop" (most of it sucks, just like every other genre).  And I wasn't trying to ruffle your feathers either.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on October 25, 2011, 01:44:29 AM
So, all the limited bundle editions (TA and NM) are signed, I really hope I was quick enough!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on October 25, 2011, 04:26:11 PM
Listening to T2 for the first time, it's pretty awesome on first listen. I never really got into T1, but this is just great. I'm definitely looking forward to getting to Seeds of Gold in the playlist though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on October 25, 2011, 04:30:18 PM
So, all the limited bundle editions (TA and NM) are signed, I really hope I was quick enough!

I can't wait to get mine! Got the email yesterday saying they're shipping out the 10-Disc Bundles this week, so I'm hoping to get it by next Monday or Tuesday... if I come home to it this week, I'll be ECSTATIC!!! I don't work on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, so I'll definitely be watching these concert DVDs!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on October 25, 2011, 05:49:02 PM
I'm fairly sure I wasn't quick enough, but it will be nice to see a big box at my door all the same.

Might be enough to get me off of this Dread Zeppelin kick I've been on lately. (Not that I mind of course.)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: SystematicThought on October 25, 2011, 05:52:58 PM
I feel like I annoy people with these Neal e-mail updates, but here's a response I got back from the man

Hi Ted,
 
Great to hear from you!! I would love to come there and give my testimony and play a few songs. Are you near any main airports? Would your school be able to pay my expenses?
 
Thanks and God bless you!!
 
Neal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 25, 2011, 06:55:29 PM
Awesome, Systematic.  If he's a spiritual inspiration to you and others, it's a good thing you invited him.

I wonder what kind of songs he plays for these really small "gigs"?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on November 02, 2011, 02:04:19 PM
Yours truly on the right from the new tour documentary. :D

(http://www.nickeh.com/images/morse.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on November 02, 2011, 03:02:25 PM
Haha, can't wait to look for you, man I want this box set now. I'll be totally visible on the TA DVD, especially during the encore, I was on first row.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on November 02, 2011, 03:03:46 PM
nick, you and your celebrity skills are amazing  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on November 03, 2011, 11:42:03 AM
Have you ever shared NM's music with someone who only listens to Christian Pop? I did that last year, with a friend who was kinda "mentoring" me through some issues I was having with my faith. I burnt them "?" onto a disc. And the next day she was practically in tears talking about how awesome it was.

I haven't had luck getting these people to listen to the music I provided for them.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on November 03, 2011, 09:49:53 PM
I've seen that guy in the center before. I have no idea from where though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 04, 2011, 12:47:58 PM
So wait, the Testimony 2 live DVD package is only available at Radiant for $34.99 and with three live CDs included?  Me no likey.  I don't care about the live CDs, and I am shocked that they wouldn't release a DVDs-only package.  Not sure I can pull the trigger on this at that price. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on November 04, 2011, 01:19:43 PM
Oh boy! T2 and TA live sets are in. This is going to be a loooong night!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 06, 2011, 02:52:55 PM
So, random thought...how would you guys rank these Neal Morse "Epics To End All Epics":
The Great Nothing
All Of The Above
Stranger In Your Soul
So Many Roads
Seeds Of Gold

These five are arguably 5 of Neal's best epics, and are chock full of great melodies and themes, and while they're all a bit different, follow some similar Neal-isms that are a bit cliche among his pieces. Here's how I'd rank these five...

1. Stranger In Your Soul
2. Seeds Of Gold
3. All Of The Above
4. The Great Nothing
5. So Many Roads

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on November 06, 2011, 06:11:24 PM
1. All of the Above
2. Stranger in Your Soul
3. So Many Roads
4. Seeds of Gold

Haven't heard The Great Nothing.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on November 06, 2011, 08:55:24 PM
1. So Many Roads
2. Stranger in your soul
3. The Great Nothing
4. All of the Above
5. Seeds of Gold

I'll probably be the only one with So Many Roads at number one, but I don't mind. . .
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on November 06, 2011, 10:48:01 PM
1. Stranger in Your Soul
2. So Many Roads
3. All of the Above
4. Seeds of Gold
5. The Great Nothing

All fantastic songs though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 06, 2011, 11:17:31 PM
Well, we are leaving out some of the best epics Neal has written (or hand a big hand in writing, ala the Transatlantic stuff), but as for those five:

1a. Stranger in Your Soul
1b. All of the Above
3. The Great Nothing
4. Seeds of Gold (this could surpass TGN in time; all depends on how it ages)





5. So Many Roads (this doesn't touch any of the others)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on November 07, 2011, 01:22:04 AM
Well, we are leaving out some of the best epics Neal has written (or hand a big hand in writing, ala the Transatlantic stuff), but as for those five:

1a. Stranger in Your Soul
1b. All of the Above
3. The Great Nothing
4. Seeds of Gold (this could surpass TGN in time; all depends on how it ages)





5. So Many Roads (this doesn't touch any of the others)

Basically that, apart from Seeds of Gold, haven't even heard that one.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on November 07, 2011, 05:16:59 AM
"Question Mark" is the ultimate

Anyhow, I'm chiming in to say I just signed my wife up for Neal's Inner Circle for a Christmas present. She is the ultimate Neal fan and she really wanted his Proggy Christmas album so now she has a great treat to look forward to.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on November 07, 2011, 05:53:09 AM
So wait, the Testimony 2 live DVD package is only available at Radiant for $34.99 and with three live CDs included?  Me no likey.  I don't care about the live CDs, and I am shocked that they wouldn't release a DVDs-only package.  Not sure I can pull the trigger on this at that price.

The new Transatlantic is this way too, right?

I'm sorry, but Neal seems to be pulling a cash-grab on some of his fans. Though, I can surely sympathize if he really needs it, which he might.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Mladen on November 07, 2011, 07:34:51 AM
All of the above is brilliant.  :hefdaddy

But I've never been a fan of The Great nothing, despite loving the rest of V album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on November 07, 2011, 08:22:27 AM
coolest thing happened the other night.
I went with some friends to an obscure parody band concert in LA and as I walked through the door they were cranking NM ?
They ended up playing the whole album before the show began.
It was miserable though because none of my friends knew him and other than myself and the sound guy, we were it. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 08, 2011, 07:05:18 PM
FINALLY got my *SIGNED* copy of Testimony 2 - Live In Los Angeles yesterday and managed to watch the whole DVD show and some of the documentary, and listened to the CDs as well. This is an AMAZING live show and there's a lot of energy provided from Neal and Mike as well as the rest of the band! What a perfect "sequel" to the Testimony Live set that came out years ago, featuring most of the same band from that concert tour.

I kind of wish they had done TWO encore songs like they did at other shows (including either "Sing It High", "Bridge Across Forever" or "We All Need Some Light"), but "Reunion" was a lot of fun to watch/listen to! I'm also VERY glad there's a fade-out between "Reunion" and the end of "Testimony 1 - Part Five" on the CDs!!! It made it easy for me to rip the songs to iTunes and re-order the tracks (1 through 20) and placing the songs in concert order on my iTunes/iPod!

I'll have to watch the entire documentary another night, as well as the Neal w/SB extra on the first DVD before I can comment on any of it, but the show itself is amazing and it was totally worth all that it costs, and getting it hand-signed by Neal and Mike is quite a bonus! Now I just gotta make time to watch the Transatlantic - Live In Tilburg DVDs...

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 10, 2011, 11:39:27 PM
Glad to hear the DVD is cool.  I really hope he decides to release just the DVDs of the live show at some point so I can get this.  I am not paying extra money for live CDs I don't care about.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on November 11, 2011, 10:00:36 AM
5. So Many Roads (this doesn't touch any of the others)
I agree, it is an OK song but not in the same league as those others.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on November 22, 2011, 12:10:53 PM
Watched a bit of the T2 DVD live last night.  The performance is just terrific (as I knew from listening to the CD's).  Kind of a bummer the venue is so small.  The tiny stage, the crowding of all the musicians and their gear, and the inability to have much in the way of good lighting take a bit away from the overall vibe of the show.  Also, when it goes into split screen mode, it is distracting and looks amateurish.  However, even with those criticisms, it is still a fun show to watch.  Great set.  Lots of energy.  Very good performance.  I really can't complain at all for $25.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 22, 2011, 02:09:31 PM
$25?  How did you manage that?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on November 22, 2011, 02:20:47 PM
That's what they charged here at the local shop where I bought it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on November 22, 2011, 03:02:35 PM
Bosk, don't lie, you walked in there and started choking employees until you got a discount.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on November 22, 2011, 03:18:55 PM
Not my fault.  I found their lack of faith disturbing.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on November 22, 2011, 03:38:54 PM
Luke, I am your customer.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: EstyMaJ on January 19, 2012, 06:45:51 AM
Wow i don't know what it is bout Neal's music besides the music itself if great but it really seems to move me emotionally , I cannot remember the last time i said this , I'm not a very spiritual person either but it has been on my mind more often .
Am i being brain washed by listening to his music lol !!! 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on January 19, 2012, 07:01:24 AM
Oh and I don't think I've seen mentioning of this:

Neal is twittering about writing a new album.

MP is twittering about being in the studio with a 'special person'.

Neal tweeted yesterday 'You awake Mike'?

It seems like they're both working on new material. Quite possibly together. And assuming they're working together.... Transatlantic?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bobs23 on January 19, 2012, 08:22:35 AM
Watched a bit of the T2 DVD live last night.  The performance is just terrific (as I knew from listening to the CD's).  Kind of a bummer the venue is so small.  The tiny stage, the crowding of all the musicians and their gear, and the inability to have much in the way of good lighting take a bit away from the overall vibe of the show.  Also, when it goes into split screen mode, it is distracting and looks amateurish.  However, even with those criticisms, it is still a fun show to watch.  Great set.  Lots of energy.  Very good performance.  I really can't complain at all for $25.

I actually tried to get them to spread out a bit. There was a good 15 feet behind MP. I also protested the splits, at least I was able to talk him into the letterbox splits.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on January 19, 2012, 08:56:27 AM
Oh and I don't think I've seen mentioning of this:

Neal is twittering about writing a new album.

MP is twittering about being in the studio with a 'special person'.

Neal tweeted yesterday 'You awake Mike'?

It seems like they're both working on new material. Quite possibly together. And assuming they're working together.... Transatlantic?

Very doubtful.  Probably Neal's next studio album.  If it were TA, it would probably be more of a secret. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bobs23 on January 19, 2012, 09:01:01 AM
They are not working together this week. 100% positive.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on January 19, 2012, 09:05:06 AM
Oh and I don't think I've seen mentioning of this:

Neal is twittering about writing a new album.

MP is twittering about being in the studio with a 'special person'.

Neal tweeted yesterday 'You awake Mike'?

It seems like they're both working on new material. Quite possibly together. And assuming they're working together.... Transatlantic?

Very doubtful.  Probably Neal's next studio album.  If it were TA, it would probably be more of a secret. 

If history is any indication, you are probably right.  But just to play devil's advocate, there was much more to be gained by keeping a TA reunion a secret last time around than right now.  Fans had been hoping for a TA reunion for YEARS, and went absolutely ballistic when it happened.  And the guys did it right by keeping it low key, etc.  This time around, there isn't quite the fever pitch since we just got The Whirlwind, the tour, and two live CD/DVD sets very recently.  And everyone knows Neal and Mike are doing a bunch of things right now.  So I see less of a need/benefit from absolute secrecy if they were indeed working on new TA right now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on January 19, 2012, 09:05:24 AM
They are not working together this week. 100% positive.

Well, shoot.  :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on January 19, 2012, 10:12:24 AM
Jan 29th they start recording drums and bass for Neal's new album (from inner circle newsletter).  No actual information on the album, though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on January 19, 2012, 04:24:24 PM
Maybe Mike did a track or two on the new Spock's Beard album?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on January 19, 2012, 04:37:54 PM
They are not working together this week. 100% positive.

Well, shoot.  :(

Dammit, I tried, haha.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 19, 2012, 07:05:18 PM
Jan 29th they start recording drums and bass for Neal's new album (from inner circle newsletter).  No actual information on the album, though.

They are to record Neal's new solo album, AS WELL AS a new Covers album, and Randy George posted on Neal's forums asking us (the posters there) if we wanted another Studio Diary from him, and of course we've all said YES!

So that brings us up to TWO of THREE albums that Neal is working on for this year. But what's the third? Of course Transatlantic comes to mind, and it's possible. Pete will be in America for the upcoming Marillion tour, so he may find some time before or after June to record at Neal's studio with Mike, Neal and Roine. OR...it could be something else altogether, or something new. Who knows!

Either way, Neal's got Flying Colors coming out in March, and plans to have the new Covers album sometime in spring (I'd guess April or May), and then assuming his schedule is pretty standard, his new solo prog album will probably see a June or July release (it took him 6 months to release Testimony 2 last year), so March-May-July...could be a very Neal-tastic year!!! This isn't even bringing up his third to-be-recorded album for 2012, so we'll have FOUR STUDIO RELEASES from Neal this year! The man likes to stay busy - no wonder he and Mike get along so well! :lol

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 24, 2012, 08:02:06 PM
This just in from Randy George's FB -

Quote
Headed to Nashville in the morning to work on 3 albums with Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy... yes I said 3...

See you when I surface for air!

As was eluded to in Neal's Inner Circle newsletter, TWO of them are Neal's next prog solo album, and another is a new Covers album, both with Portnoy. As for the third one, I guess it's safe to say that it's NOT Transatlantic now that, presumably, all three Neal's albums will involve Randy (and possibly even Mike). What would the third one be? Hmmm...

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on January 24, 2012, 08:22:15 PM
I'm pretty sure Randy is a very faith oriented person, and so he is perhaps doing one of Neal's more overtly religious albums? I don't know if he has in the past, but I know Neal does albums marketed at Christians moreso than prog fans and it's quite possible that has something to do with it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 24, 2012, 09:10:39 PM
I'm pretty sure Randy is a very faith oriented person, and so he is perhaps doing one of Neal's more overtly religious albums? I don't know if he has in the past, but I know Neal does albums marketed at Christians moreso than prog fans and it's quite possible that has something to do with it.

That would be interesting, but I doubt Neal would hype it in the way he did if it was something that didn't have more prog-appeal:

Quote
There are currently three (count them three!) albums that I am talking about producing this year. The first is something Mike and Randy have been talking about doing for awhile, which is a "Cover to Cover Part 2" album. It's one of our albums that Mike and I both listen to the most, so why not make another one! So, I'm thinking of releasing that in the Spring. Then I'm writing and working around the clock, well not exactly around the clock, but you know... early on the clock anyway.... I'm working on a new Prog Cd and it's going really well. I'm writing right now. Mike and Randy are coming January 30th at the end of the month to track the new cd and to track some covers for the cover album. And I'll just leave the last album a secret for right now cause it's just more fun that way. More news on the last album of the year to come at a later date. But I'm pretty excited and I thought you might want to know that Randy and Mike are scheduled and the Studio is booked from January 30th to February 5th. We're gonna get the great old team back together and see if we can come up with something that's even half as good as the "One" album! :)

Neal and Randy on a "secret album"...hmmmm, definitely has me ponderous.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on January 25, 2012, 08:21:52 AM
Neal and Randy on a "secret album"...hmmmm, definitely has me ponderous.

-Marc.

:rollin

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/bosk1/demotivator/Thatword.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 25, 2012, 09:53:16 AM
Neal and Randy on a "secret album"...hmmmm, definitely has me ponderous.

-Marc.

:rollin

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/bosk1/demotivator/Thatword.jpg)

Damn, you caught me, bosk!  :lol

I meant...uh..."pondering". Yeah, that's the ticket!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bobs23 on January 25, 2012, 10:21:49 AM
A bit off topic, maybe more backtracking. To those of you that have T2 live. I was the exec producer of this show. I would like to hear your opinions on the DVD/CD set. No comments on the venue/ stage production, there was nothing I could do about that. I am relatively new at editing and curious of what you thought worked and what did not.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on January 25, 2012, 04:02:34 PM
Not to criticize, because I think you did a great job overall, Bob.  But since you asked, here are my few criticisms:  (1) Bounce from shot to shot is too fast.  I know that's a bit unfair because it is just the style nowadays and has been for some time.  But I like to focus on each musician for awhile, which is hard to do when the shots bounce to quickly.  (2)  Split screen.  You already know my thoughts on that.  And I know that when it is used, it somewhat helps with #1 because you can keep guys onscreen longer.  But still, me no likey.

Audio editing to me is a lot less obvious to pick out.  But everything is smooth with no choppiness, and the instrument, vocal, and crowd levels all sound great to me, so I'd say you did a great job in that department.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bobs23 on January 25, 2012, 04:24:16 PM
@Bosk
None taken. I fought to slow the cut down a bit.  I also fought about the splits, but as you said with so much happening at once it had to be done to avoid cutting even faster. I was able to get the number of splits reduced from the original number of them. The reality is as well, is this is what the client wanted. I have to balance keeping the client happy along with keeping the fans happy. I'm still trying different things for video looking cool without being cliche or distracting.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on January 26, 2012, 07:27:52 AM
A bit off topic, maybe more backtracking. To those of you that have T2 live. I was the exec producer of this show. I would like to hear your opinions on the DVD/CD set. No comments on the venue/ stage production, there was nothing I could do about that. I am relatively new at editing and curious of what you thought worked and what did not.

Did you have any influence on the sound as well? Because the way that DVD sounds totally floored me! Great sound, so direct, but as big as it needs to be.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on January 26, 2012, 07:56:45 AM
Neal and Randy on a "secret album"...hmmmm, definitely has me ponderous.

-Marc.

:rollin

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/bosk1/demotivator/Thatword.jpg)
Outstanding humorous value!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bobs23 on January 26, 2012, 10:17:25 AM
A bit off topic, maybe more backtracking. To those of you that have T2 live. I was the exec producer of this show. I would like to hear your opinions on the DVD/CD set. No comments on the venue/ stage production, there was nothing I could do about that. I am relatively new at editing and curious of what you thought worked and what did not.

Did you have any influence on the sound as well? Because the way that DVD sounds totally floored me! Great sound, so direct, but as big as it needs to be.

I did do the final audio mastering. Thank you. I wanted to do more, but was up against the delivery deadline.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: reneranucci on January 26, 2012, 11:27:25 AM
@Bosk
None taken. I fought to slow the cut down a bit.  I also fought about the splits, but as you said with so much happening at once it had to be done to avoid cutting even faster. I was able to get the number of splits reduced from the original number of them. The reality is as well, is this is what the client wanted. I have to balance keeping the client happy along with keeping the fans happy. I'm still trying different things for video looking cool without being cliche or distracting.
Regarding the splits, I think they are very nice when they allow you to see what's happening in different places of the stage. However, in the case of the T2 DVD, many of the shots looked redundant: you could see Neal in one, and Neal was in the other too, just from a different angle, and you couldn't see any other musician. Otherwise, great job.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on January 26, 2012, 12:03:56 PM
I am still waiting for the live T2 DVD to be offered for sale by itself as opposed to being forced to buy CDs that I have no interest in with it. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on January 26, 2012, 12:17:30 PM
Just found Neal Morse Whirlwind demo  in my mailbox today, from The Inner Circle.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 26, 2012, 04:12:08 PM
Just found Neal Morse Whirlwind demo  in my mailbox today, from The Inner Circle.

WOOHOO! I've been anxiously awaiting the next Inner Circle physical release. I've been at work all day (since 9am) so I'm hoping when I get home in an hour or so that it's in my mail box!

I hope this is at least a bit different from the stuff on this -
http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/364-inner-circle-cd-from-the-cutting-room-floor-september-2009.aspx

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on January 27, 2012, 11:28:48 PM
Mine showed up today.

It's in that growing pile that I need to get to listen to
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on January 28, 2012, 04:08:35 AM
If you join the Inner Circle, do you get access to past IC recordings?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 28, 2012, 02:13:25 PM
If you join the Inner Circle, do you get access to past IC recordings?

Indeed you now do! This started a month or two ago, Neal started making his past IC releases available through Radiant to current members. And there's a LOT of them. I'm pretty sure every IC CD and DVD is available on there, either as an original, or a new copy (I think on plain CD-r perhaps).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on January 29, 2012, 06:03:33 AM
If you join the Inner Circle, do you get access to past IC recordings?

Indeed you now do! This started a month or two ago, Neal started making his past IC releases available through Radiant to current members. And there's a LOT of them. I'm pretty sure every IC CD and DVD is available on there, either as an original, or a new copy (I think on plain CD-r perhaps).

-Marc.
Well, that is something worth thinking about.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on January 31, 2012, 03:52:45 PM
Wait, so NM is already working on his next solo album???..... </head spin> I can't keep up. Jeez.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on January 31, 2012, 04:01:01 PM
Wait, so NM is already working on his next solo album???..... </head spin> I can't keep up. Jeez.

As well as TWO other albums, at the same time, including a new covers album with Randy and Mike! The man is a MACHINE!!! He'll have at LEAST 3 studio albums this year, perhaps four!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on January 31, 2012, 11:37:29 PM
I just hope Neal isn't doing too much too soon.  I gotta think that a big part of why T2 was so awesome was because it was his first solo album in three years, so aside for what he wrote for the TA album, he was probably overflowing with years of great ideas.  Doing this much this soon after T2 could result in uneven efforts.  I'd much rather see him focus on writing one album for the time being, instead of juggling so many at once, which could very well result in every project having both good and average stuff, instead of focusing on one album and using the best of it all for that one album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 01, 2012, 10:26:36 AM
I just hope Neal isn't doing too much too soon.  I gotta think that a big part of why T2 was so awesome was because it was his first solo album in three years, so aside for what he wrote for the TA album, he was probably overflowing with years of great ideas.  Doing this much this soon after T2 could result in uneven efforts.  I'd much rather see him focus on writing one album for the time being, instead of juggling so many at once, which could very well result in every project having both good and average stuff, instead of focusing on one album and using the best of it all for that one album.

You *could* have a point, especially with the news that Neal's next album will follow the V/Lifeline format with a huge epic and a few shorter songs, and that it will likely come out less than 2 years after T2. Looking back, Lifeline was released 20 months after Sola Scriptura (which was an AWESOME album), which is probably the longest time between his solo albums

Testimony 1 to One = 13 months
One to ? = 12 months
? to Sola Scriptura = 16 months
Sola Scriptura to Lifeline = 20 months
Lifeline to Testimony 2 = 28 months
Testimony 2 to Momentum (current title track of the album, according to Randy) = 13-14 months, perhaps?

I don't think having time in-between isn't the issue. Albums like One and ? are pure GOLD and they were written and released within a year after the previous album. Perhaps we are due for another album as epic as One!

Follow Randy's updates here - http://nealmorse.yuku.com/topic/4258/Studio-Diary-Jan-2012

It seems they are having a blast and are keeping up a great pace, with Mike having already tracked a few shorter songs and most of the "big epic" for the album! This sounds more exciting than Lifeline, so I am hopeful that it will be amazing, and I have faith (!) in Neal that he will put out only the best he has to offer.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: reneranucci on February 01, 2012, 10:34:03 AM
Randy likes the Flintstones  :heart
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 01, 2012, 11:32:41 AM
I just realized something startling about Neal's solo material.  I love his albums.  I mean, One, Sola Scriptura, and perhaps Testimony would probably be in my top 10 albums of all time.  But in terms of individual songs, there aren't a lot of Neal's solo songs that jump out at me as being truly outstanding standalone songs.  I guess it really goes to th idea of the sum being greater than the individual parts.  But I never consciously realized I felt that way until just now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 01, 2012, 12:24:03 PM
I just realized something startling about Neal's solo material.  I love his albums.  I mean, One, Sola Scriptura, and perhaps Testimony would probably be in my top 10 albums of all time.  But in terms of individual songs, there aren't a lot of Neal's solo songs that jump out at me as being truly outstanding standalone songs.  I guess it really goes to th idea of the sum being greater than the individual parts.  But I never consciously realized I felt that way until just now.

Considering nearly all of his albums have been conceptual, the pieces all seem to run together, with a few exceptions. The only standouts I can recall would be the epics, things like "The Creation" and "The Door" or perhaps things like the end of "Part 4" of Testimony. I do agree, though, that his albums tend to be written as albums rather than as singles, or with singles in mind. There are songs that COULD have been singles (in another world), like "King Jesus" and "Heaven In My Heart".

I think his albums are all stronger as wholes rather than pieces, which is why I always listen to them front-to-back. It's just a more satisfying listening experience.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 01, 2012, 02:03:10 PM
Leaving Transatlantic out of the equation for a moment, I still say that Crossing Over/Mercy Street reprise is one of the three best songs Neal has ever written.  Yes, it's that good.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 01, 2012, 02:30:35 PM
I just hope Neal isn't doing too much too soon.  I gotta think that a big part of why T2 was so awesome was because it was his first solo album in three years, so aside for what he wrote for the TA album, he was probably overflowing with years of great ideas.  Doing this much this soon after T2 could result in uneven efforts.  I'd much rather see him focus on writing one album for the time being, instead of juggling so many at once, which could very well result in every project having both good and average stuff, instead of focusing on one album and using the best of it all for that one album.

Your concern is understandable, but if you've watched the T2 DVD Making-Of, Neal explains how the material for T2 didn't materialize until sometime in 2010, after the Transatlantic tour, and then a friend of his recommended the theme of going back to Testimony and that's when he started putting the album together.

I don't think it matters how much time there is between albums, as long as the inspiration is there. It could be said that it was lacking during the Lifeline era. Ive said this before, but I think The Whirlwind re-invigorated Neal, and if he's so inspired that he's writing 3-4 albums a year now, I would trust that his own solo album will be of high quality. Look at how much music Roine Stolt and co. have written since 1994, and almost all of it is essential prog music (in my opinion at least....)

I just realized something startling about Neal's solo material.  I love his albums.  I mean, One, Sola Scriptura, and perhaps Testimony would probably be in my top 10 albums of all time.  But in terms of individual songs, there aren't a lot of Neal's solo songs that jump out at me as being truly outstanding standalone songs.  I guess it really goes to th idea of the sum being greater than the individual parts.  But I never consciously realized I felt that way until just now.

Considering nearly all of his albums have been conceptual, the pieces all seem to run together, with a few exceptions. The only standouts I can recall would be the epics, things like "The Creation" and "The Door" or perhaps things like the end of "Part 4" of Testimony. I do agree, though, that his albums tend to be written as albums rather than as singles, or with singles in mind. There are songs that COULD have been singles (in another world), like "King Jesus" and "Heaven In My Heart".

I think his albums are all stronger as wholes rather than pieces, which is why I always listen to them front-to-back. It's just a more satisfying listening experience.

-Marc.

This is why I liked Testimony 2 so much. You had the concept album of disc 1, where you can't really listen but straight through to get the full experience; as most of his solo albums are. But then you have Seeds of Gold on disc 2, so it's like a 2fer1
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 01, 2012, 03:21:15 PM
"Seeds Of Gold" was like the icing on the cake, and it was quite a big delicious cake too! The icing just became even more delightfully sinful (ironic?) because "Seeds Of Gold" is something I've hoped to hear from Neal since he left SB/TA (temporarily). It rivals his best epic works and sounds like something Transatlantic could have done, and the lyrics aren't too overly religious (or at least, as blatant as his other recent works), but they have a sort of SB/TA obliqueness to them, you can infer them to be of religious content, but by themselves, they can also mean anything. The lyrics to SOG are as good as anything Neal wrote when he was in Spock's Beard, and I hope this direction carries through to his next album, especially since he's writing "Thoughts Pt. 3"!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 06, 2012, 08:37:45 AM
From Randy the other night:

Quote
For those that asked… the target release dates are possibly September for the Prog CD and May/June for the Covers CD. Neal wanted to release the covers CD first. Also there live dates being discussed for July for a one off with the Testimony band… and a full blown tour in the fall with a possible new line up. But it's all still in the discussion stage so keep you fingers crossed! I can guarantee your complete and utter excitement and satisfaction for all things Neal this year, at least if myself as a fan is any indication!

So, more Neal goodness 2-3 months after Flying Colors is released, and then again 4 months later.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 06, 2012, 08:49:29 AM
So, I finally got the Testimony Two live DVD - special thanks to bobs23 for hooking me up!! :) - and I gotta say, it is quite enjoyable.  I still need to watch all of the first DVD, but the second one was great.  I loved seeing how great Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise was live, and The Truth Will Set You Free is even more of a beast live than in the studio. :hefdaddy :hefdaddy  Them nailing the Time Changer multi-part harmonies was great and got them a big applause from the crowd, which was well-deserved!

I thought the editing was good overall given what they had to work with; it looked very professional and a good job was done of showing every musician a lot, instead of always showing the same guys.  The split screen shots didn't really bother me at all, but I do think that the stage lighting was a bit iffy at times.  It was too dark in the background at times.  The one frequent shot of Neal from the right (at an angle), for one, was not centered enough.  Numerous times, it was like Neal was way to the right on the screen and then it was so dark behind him that the rest of the shot was mostly really dark (except for when that annoying green shirt stood out :facepalm:).  Not a great job by the cameraman when it came to centering Neal, but given the small venue, he/she might not have had a lot to work with, so it is what it is.  It was a bit of a bummer to see Neal playing to such a small crowd - couldn't have been more than a few hundred people there - but it didn't matter to Neal, who brought it and gave a great performance regardless.  :tup :tup

Gonna try to get to all of the first DVD today or tomorrow. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 06, 2012, 08:53:54 AM
So, more Neal goodness 2-3 months after Flying Colors is released, and then again 4 months later.

Eh, sort of.  Maybe I'm in the minority, but I'm not really looking forward to the covers CD.  Not a huge fan of those.  I love it when bands release a covers CD as bonus content with a CD of original music (like DT, Redemption, and sort of Transatlantic), but I don't listen to covers disks enough to feel like I'm getting a decent value when I have to shell out full CD price for a covers disk.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 06, 2012, 08:57:24 AM
So, more Neal goodness 2-3 months after Flying Colors is released, and then again 4 months later.

Eh, sort of.  Maybe I'm in the minority, but I'm not really looking forward to the covers CD.  Not a huge fan of those.  I love it when bands release a covers CD as bonus content with a CD of original music (like DT, Redemption, and sort of Transatlantic), but I don't listen to covers disks enough to feel like I'm getting a decent value when I have to shell out full CD price for a covers disk.

I think once the tracklist is revealed, I may get more or less excited about that release, but my excitement level is pretty high considering it's a recording that features Neal, Mike and Randy. I've loved their covers so much over the years that a straight-up album of just covers would be worth getting, for me at least.

At any rate, the wait to September will be a long one, but at least there will be plenty of new music coming out between now and then!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 06, 2012, 09:09:42 AM
I'm not sure the track listing will do much to get me excited.  If their last covers CD is any indication, the majority of material on there will either be songs that I'm not familiar with or will not have really have had much interest in the originals.  Hopefully, just like last time around, they will transform the songs into something I will really like. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on February 06, 2012, 09:28:52 AM
A bit off topic, maybe more backtracking. To those of you that have T2 live. I was the exec producer of this show. I would like to hear your opinions on the DVD/CD set. No comments on the venue/ stage production, there was nothing I could do about that. I am relatively new at editing and curious of what you thought worked and what did not.

Hey bobs23, I work at a high-end production company. If you want to send me a copy I'd be willing to you give you my professional opinion.... :biggrin:

/brokebegging
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 06, 2012, 01:01:36 PM
So a new Neal Morse album in September

Wow, I thought 2012 was going to be mostly ho-hum for new releases, but every week this year has revealed exciting news. First OSI, then Beardfish, then Flying Colors, then Mars Volta, then The Flower Kings, now NEW NEAL MORSE!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 06, 2012, 11:26:39 PM
For shits and giggles, I did a Neal top 25 (from his eight studio albums).  This was tough to narrow it down.  If I did it again tomorrow, 5-25 might move all around, and songs like It's All I Can Do, Inside His Presence, Wasted Life, King Jesus, Jayda, etc. might make it, but 1-4 are pretty much set in stone for now.

1. Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise
2. Seeds of Gold
3. The Separated Man
4. In the Fire
5. Somber Days
6. The Truth Will Set You Free
7. 12
8. Mercy Street
9. The Storm Before the Calm
10. Solid As the Sun
11. Time Has Come Today
12. Everything Is Wrong
13. Reunion
14. Sleeping Jesus
15. It's for You
16. Entrance
17. Cradle to the Grave
18. Break of Day
19. Time Changer
20. The Conflict
21. Outside Looking In
22. The Creation
23. Supernatural
24. Emma
25. Sing It High
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 07, 2012, 08:45:28 AM
Nice list. I'd make one, but I'd have trouble deciding which cuts from "?" I like best. I always listen to that one straight through, and don't necessarily check which track I'm up to. Temple Of The Living God would definitely be one of the best though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 07, 2012, 09:46:59 AM
Yeah, it's not easy leaving off some of the songs from that, even the shorter ones.  I mean, a song like Sweet Elation is only 2 1/2 minutes, but is nothing but awesomeness.  Neal just has too many great songs to include them all! :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 07, 2012, 09:54:11 AM
I'm not even going to try.  In addition to the "too much good stuff" phenomenon, on the concept albums, it's just way too hard for me to remove most individual songs from their respective albums.  But I will say that the 10 minute chunk of music that comprises In The Middle and The Storm Before The Calm is one of the best pieces of music composed by anybody.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on February 07, 2012, 09:54:59 AM
I'm not even going to try.  In addition to the "too much good stuff" phenomenon, on the concept albums, it's just way too hard for me to remove most individual songs from their respective albums.  But I will say that the 10 minute chunk of music that comprises In The Middle and The Storm Before The Calm is one of the best pieces of music composed by anybody.
Well, just all of this.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 07, 2012, 10:51:23 AM
That is a pretty awesome 10-minute section. 

I still say that Testimony could have been a truly great single album.  I know you'd lose some of Neal's story, but it would still work.  Just take these songs, rework some of the transitions, and it would have been all brilliance:

California Nights
Sleeping Jesus
Wasted Life
Break of Day
Somber Days
Long Story
It's All I Can Do
Sing It High
Moving in My Heart (Colder in the Sun and Power in the Air are basically pointless songs since they use the same melody as this song, with Moving in My Heart by far being the best of the three songs)
I Am Willing
In the Middle
The Storm Before the Calm
Oh, to Feel Him
God's Theme
Overture/Rejoice (with Rejoice faded out, which I already edited it to do on my mp3, and ending the album)


Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on February 07, 2012, 11:34:40 AM
I would take out California Nights, but I never much dug that song. Same with Sleeping Jesus. Keep the Overture.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 07, 2012, 12:39:48 PM
 :eek Sleeping Jesus is way too awesome to lose, fool! :P

Also, a brief clip of Neal and the others talking about the forthcoming CDs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AawBqG9BW5I
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 07, 2012, 02:38:05 PM
Also, check out Randy George's studio diary **WARNING. SPOILER ALERT**

Quote
Welcome to the Studio Diary for the new CD recording sessions. At this time it's Jan 18th and I'm actually getting ready for NAMM. I have been trying to write some musical passages for the CD. my ideas are thematic ideas that would serve as intros and other passages... Neal is deep into the songs. I am not sure how many he has written as of yet but it's probably 4 or 5 I think. We are likely going to make and song oriented album as opposed to a concept album. This means a couple big prog epics and some shorter songs. Maybe something like V in terms of format. (I wouldn't mind musically either but that remains to be seen). It's not easy writing for Neal when he ain't here. The real magic happens when we get together in the same room. I am flying out there on the 25th. Mike comes in on the 30th to begin tracking so Neal and I have a few days to write... I suspect it will mostly be arranging things by that time. We are also planning to do some covers as well. We have not yet discussed those yet as Mike is busy at the NAMM show.

I got an email from Neal this morning (Jan 19th) saying he had used one of my ideas in an epic! I sort of wrote it that way and it was heavily inspired by the Great Nothing.

Jan 24th - I received Neal's demos today! I was pleasantly surprised to hear such an amazing album after what amounted to about two weeks of intensive writing. This is a stark contrast to Testimony 2. This harkens back to Neal's Spock's days of writing. I know we always say something like with every album... but seriously this is like instantly one of those albums you just love from the opening chords to the first song! I'm saying that very much as a Neal fan. There are 5 shorter songs and a long prog epic that will no doubt take it's place among the hardcore. I don't know if it's the whole album or if we might yet add more music. I am leaving for Nashville tomorrow to write with Neal for the next few days. Mike arrives on Monday for 6 days of tracking!

We have just began to throw around some covers ideas but nothing has been decided there. I had some great ideas but I don't know of the guys will be into them or not! But the discussion has just started!

Jan 25th… I arrive in Nashville and we spend the evening discussing covers while watching the Lakers game.. We came up with a great list of stuff… of course nothing is for sure until Mike gets here.

Jan 26th… We sat down in the studio and started listening through our little rough recordings of ideas… out of those sprung a musical frame to what might become Thoughts Pt3. It's a hodgepodge of ideas of both Neal's and mine. We are also composing on the fly to fill in the blanks. The way Neal writes is to try and flesh out a vocal line to make sure he can sing to it. We are also going through the other songs to just get our foundations firm.

Jan 27th - We spent today writing lyrics to Thoughts Pt 3. I'm diggin' it! It's a worthy predecessor to the previous ones. Both music and lyrics! We had to write the lyrics first then we stacked up the vocals and outlined everything so we can get drum tracks. Also we continued to listen to the demos to further dial in the songs. Of course there is only so much we can do until Mike gets here. This will be the last update until monday as we are taking the weekend off. I am having lunch with Phil Keaggy tomorrow!

Jan 29th - I spent the morning charting out songs and re-recording my scratch bass for the Thoughts Pt 3 track. Tomorrow starts a major week of intense tracking! The album is shaping up to be one the great ones in my opinion! Jerry is in the studio dialing in drum sounds with Neal hitting the drums. We also dialed in bass. So we are pretty much ready to rock! I picked up Mike from the airport and we went out for Mexican food!

Jan 30th - Day one of tracking! Mike arrived at noon and we immediately launched into lunch. My we are hard working aren't we? We started off with Momentum. It's the title track of the album at least at this point. Right away Mike had a suggestion... there was a break where the rhythm stopped and it was just keyboards for a bit and built back up into the next section. Mike felt that it broke the flow too much and so we ended up losing the whole section and joining the solo to the last chorus. It works well that way too. That's a first… we actually shortened a song! Woo Hoo! Anyhow it come together pretty quickly. We moved on to a track titled Weathering Sky. This is one of my favorites. It took a bit longer to get drums though. Sometimes the simpler songs take a little longer. Mike is really good at finding just the right vibe for a song. He is very meticulous and thorough in his methods. Of course you would think that made a good day. It would have been had we stopped for the day. But we all felt to get another song done. We moved on to a really nice song called Smoke And Mirrors. This track has a few tender passages so it required special care. Mike noticed that the chorus sounded a lot like Solid as the Sun. So we spent some time altering the chord progression to still work with the melody but not to sound so much like SATS. We got the track done though! So three songs the first day… not too bad. Everyone is feeling good about the album and the vibe is good. We managed to discuss covers as well. I think we narrowed the field on those a bit. But we won't track those until later in the week after we get the album.

Jan 31 - Today we started off with the big prog epic! Neal and I were expecting to continue with some of the shorter songs but Mike was ready to dig in! Good thing too cause it was his day for it! His performances were absolutely stunning!We nearly completed the drums on it. It originally started out with a piano prelude very similar to Seeds Of Gold and the Doorway. But that was reason enough for Mike and Neal to change it. Neal had been working on this other theme idea that he stumbled upon yesterday and felt to use it in the song. It turned out very nice. It gives the song a different feel right from the start rather than sounding too much like something we'd already done. The pace was good all day and we covered a lot of ground. We re-arranged a couple sections in the song as well for similar reasons of sounding like something else. It's always fun to play together from scratch as opposed to following the existing demos. We really had a great time working today! It got sort of silly about 10:00 which is right on target for Mike to start going off the deep end. But it was all in good fun. We finally compiled our covers list. Although Neal is still thinking about one or two of them, it's likely going to stick! I think this song (as yet untitled) is going to be one of the best things we've ever done! I'm excited to get it done. Mike will finish the last few minutes of the song tomorrow. I guess I can tell some of the covers that got shot down since we are not doing them… Neal and I wanted to do Miss America by Styx but Mike didn't want to. Neal of course wanted to cover Wind Power by Thomas Dolby but Mike doesn't like to cover songs he doesn't know and like. I wanted to cover Hold Your Head up but it doesn't work in the key it's in and it can't be changed or else the guitar part doesn't work so overall it was too much of a compromise to make it work. We actually had an extensive list of covers but we managed to get a good selection that I think everyone will really enjoy! We had an amazing Mexican meal tonight! Cheri always spoils us! We really have to be careful not too eat too much as is easy to do otherwise we will not be worth a darn after dinner! So thus far this is shaping up to be a really killer album! I can't wait for you guys to hear it! The Inner Circle video is going out first thing in the morning! It's not too late to join up! It's mainly just us screwing around but funny nonetheless! I stayed up to work on some of the cover tunes so I'm fried as I type this!. Well it's past 1:00am and I am going to watch an episode of something and go to sleep! Not sure what… I brought a bunch of discs. Maybe some Flintstones! yeah I brought a disc of Flintstones… Simpsons and Gilligan's Island too. Too bad I already watched all the Simpsons! I got a bunch of other stuff too but it's too late to start a movie.

Feb 1st - Well it's the first day of February! It was a strange day here… cloudy most of the day then sunshine, then a raging thunder and lightening storm! The day started off with brunch! what a novel concept! It was a really busy day around here. Chad showed up and started making his famous ribs for dinner and Mike had interviews so we initially fixed some of Neal's parts to reflect some changes that we made on Monday. Then Mike started where we left off yesterday and we immediately started rewriting this section. Of course that means that other parts went away but it was a good trade! There is now a lengthy bass solo in the prog epic which is still without a name! Neal is still writing lyrics for it as well. Mike outdid himself with the drums on this song. I think you will find that this song is one of the best we have ever done together! What's funny is that we spent yesterday plowing through this song and recorded 23 minutes of it… and today we only recorded the remaining 10 minutes… but again there were a lot of re-writes. Also the afternoon was really broken up. Besides interviews, we had the photographer stop in and take pictures. Then we had Chad's ribs for dinner… that made the rest of the long evening even longer! But we finished… pending a short review of one thing we noticed after Neal went to bed. This is the longest single track that we've ever done. I know most of you will say "but what about the Whirlwind"? And true as it may be that had several track ID points to move around. But this song will only have one track ID at the start making it the longest. It came in at 33 minutes! Well that's about it for today. It was long and busy but not much else happened. Just worked hard and ate good! Tomorrow we have 3 songs to get through. I think at least 2 of them will go smooth and quickly but the third might take a bit longer! With any luck we can start recording covers!

Feb 2nd - Crazy day. We were very productive. We finished the 33 minute epic. We also finished Thoughts Pt 3. At the last minute Neal thought it would be cool to add this other idea he had. So we played it on his iPhone for us. Of course it was him mouthing sounds so it was pretty hard to get the idea. But once he fleshed it out musically… it was the exact same riff from Gibberish! So I made a slight modification and it took on a whole new vibe. But when we inserted it into the song… and Mike got the drum part… it was totally insane!  Possibly the best track on the record! Again… some serious crazy drumming ensued! I am totally stoked for it! It still remains untitled though… but Mike has been singing Moon River the whole time because the melody somehow reminded him of it. So he calls it Lunar Creek… but that's just a running joke so it remains untitled for now while Neal fleshes out the lyrics. After we finished that track we launched into a track called Freek. (No I didn't misspell that) It will be the last song for the album. Yeah Mike sort of surprised when he showed and suggested we drop the last couple of songs. The album was already 60 minutes and musically quite full and complete. But we opted to do one of the two remaining songs. So in recording the drums for Freek Jerry brought in a this other kit to give a specific effect. it was just a small kit. But later Mike thought it would be cool to double the drum part in what is called the Dylan section of the Prog epic. It gets those names because someone will make a reference while listening to it. Then it becomes a marker for everyone to refer to. But Mike didn't really remember what he played so he was watching the computer screen with the waveforms enlarged so he could see the snare and kick hits from the previous take. It was innovative to say the least! All said and done… we completed the drum tracking for the Prog CD. Friday will be spent tracking new covers. We have a list we are working from but everything is subject to change! For those that asked… the target release dates are possibly September for the Prog CD and May/June for the Covers CD. Neal wanted to release the covers CD first. Also there live dates being discussed for July for a one off with the Testimony band… and a full blown tour in the fall with a possible new line up. But it's all still in the discussion stage so keep you fingers crossed! I can guarantee your complete and utter excitement and satisfaction for all things Neal this year, at least if myself as a fan is any indication!

Feb 3rd - Covers day! Well it was a good start! It's amazing much faster it is to record these songs than Neal's originals! Well the first song we did was a medium tempo classic but a good warm up song. Then we moved on to a slower classic that is a personal favorite of mine! Mike did some nice work on this one. Then we jammed a fast paced feel good song that had us all dancing in the control room! What was really funny is that Neal and some songs he wanted to do in a medley by a certain artist… who you would never think Neal would want to cover. Well Mike didn't really like the songs or the artist so they started bartering… like trading willingness to do songs that the other really didn't want to. It was fun! I can tell you that the range of artists cover it staggering. If you thought the first cover CD was an eclectic bunch of songs this one really takes the cake! Anyhow Mike is finished with the drums thus ending what was a really great week. We really had fun and enjoy it immensely! Mike was really inspired and we did some of our best work to date. Now begins three long days of tracking for me! I am thinking I'll probably finish sooner than that but it's nice to have the extra day! I am usually cramming right up till I leave for the airport! I'll post a couple more updates if I have anything worth telling you! It's been a wonderful time! I can't wait to hear the finished albums!

Feb 4th - Covers! Again! I tracked all the bass for the covers disc today! I had planned to do that and be done with those by 3 or 4… but even the best laid plans… sigh… ProTools was throwing a fit and everyone scattered and nobody answered their phone… so by the time I got Jerry over here… it was like 2:00 when I started working. But once he fixed it it ran great! So off I went! I did 7 songs but one is a medley with 3 songs in it so I guess it's more like 8 songs. In fact it was 8 songs cause the middle of the medley will be guitar and voice so the other two songs were separate for now anyway. And they are complete and not cut down just because it's a medley. Anyhow that's been my day! Tracked with the Fender Jazz Bass today too. That was fun. I felt like the tone served these songs better. Tomorrow I will use the Spector for the original stuff cause it needs that "rip your head off" tone. Interesting that on one of the songs that Mike played a style of drumming I didn't know he had in him. I have never heard him do this kind of song before. I mean I knew he could play it… I just never figured he would. Well I am finished early enough to actually watch a movie… hmm what should I watch… I'll have to look at what I brought. I have been watching Gilligan's Island all week. It's short and I barely made it through an episode each night as it was.

Feb 6th -  This is the final entry for this album. Well I finished everything except the prog epic and Smoke and Mirrors. The prog epic I am taking home to spend the necessary time on it. Smoke and Mirrors I am taking home cause I plan to do fretless bass on it. I can only take so much stuff with me. It's a pain to fly with gear. Anyhow it's all good at this point. I am actually typing and posting this in flight. It's been an amazing week. Everyone had a great time and we had a lot of fun! Thanks for reading the updates and we'll see you at the shows… whenever they are!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on February 07, 2012, 06:43:27 PM
That is a pretty awesome 10-minute section. 

I still say that Testimony could have been a truly great single album.  I know you'd lose some of Neal's story, but it would still work.  Just take these songs, rework some of the transitions, and it would have been all brilliance:

California Nights
Sleeping Jesus
Wasted Life
Break of Day
Somber Days
Long Story
It's All I Can Do
Sing It High
Moving in My Heart (Colder in the Sun and Power in the Air are basically pointless songs since they use the same melody as this song, with Moving in My Heart by far being the best of the three songs)
I Am Willing
In the Middle
The Storm Before the Calm
Oh, to Feel Him
God's Theme
Overture/Rejoice (with Rejoice faded out, which I already edited it to do on my mp3, and ending the album)
I agree that the Overtures are too numerous. I also agree that Land of Beginning Again Pt 2 isn't necessary.

I don't agree with the omission of the Colder in the Sun and Power In the Air -- that trio of songs has the best motif in the album. Not to mention the "...and when things didn't go my way..." verse is not present in Moving In My Heart. Oh Lord My God is another great track that you left out. And I dunno if California Nights is such a great opener...probably ought to leave LOBA pt 1 in.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 08, 2012, 03:53:39 PM
I was never a big fan of Oh Lord My God, so we could have lost that and I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

I so seldom listen to Power in the Air and Colder in the Sun that I cannot remember that verse; I'll have to go back and check it out.

And I agree that California Nights would have become kind of a weird opener, so I think a reworking of the tracklisting would have worked fine.  Break of Day with the overture before it would have been a great opener.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 09, 2012, 09:15:26 AM
Testimony is a difficult album.  The sheer length keeps me from listening to it as much as I otherwise might.  But the sheer length of the album is one of the devices Neal uses as a vehicle for portraying how long and difficult his journey was.  It's kind of like The Lord Of The Rings.  Sure, there are some things are are not integral to the major themes and overall plot that could have been eliminated to streamline the story and make it more compact.  But the long, plodding nature of the story and all those extra little details that are there simply because Tolkien takes the time to tell them in excruciating, poetic detail make you feel the length and burden of the journey (both the physical journey and the journey in terms of character growth and development) right along with the characters.  Admittedly, although there are a few albums out there that I feel would benefit from editing, my default in general is to leave albums as is, so I'm a bit biased that way.  But I think there are good reasons for Testimony to be left well enough alone.  I think removing anything from Testimony would take away from the album.  IMO, given how much detail is left out of T2, T2 is a great collection of songs, but doesn't work on the "concept album" level nearly as strongly if Testimony doesn't already exist.  In other words, you don't really feel Neal's story just from listening to T2 in a vacuum. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 09, 2012, 10:31:21 AM
I can see that line of thinking working, almost where, in a journey that long, there are gonna be ups and downs, and enjoying them all is part of the journey.  I get it.  But like you said, it is soooooo long (kind of like SB's Snow) that listening to the whole thing almost takes setting part of your day aside, and who has time for that? :lol  But my beef is that too many musical sections are reprised too many times.  I can deal with the length, but it's almost like Neal wrote so many lyrics to tell his long story, and instead of writing that much music, he wrote a bunch and then just decided to use tons of reprises to get out of writing as much music as he did lyrics.  Typing that almost sounds goofy, as Neal is such a prolific writer than it is hard to imagine that he would have had a shortage of musical ideas to fill up even a double album, but I am just saying, that is how it sometimes comes across to me.  I get that it helps with the musical continuity, but after a while, it's like, did we really need to hear that musical theme again?

In the case of T2, I agree that is more of a regular album, almost like snapshots of stuff he didn't fully touch on on the first Testimony album, but it is still his best overall album, IMO.  For me, many of the best solo songs he has written are on T2, and there are no weaker songs or spots at all. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 09, 2012, 10:36:41 AM
On a somewhat related note, I still don't get what the fuss is over Seeds Of Gold.  Every time I see it praised in a thread, I go back and listen again to see what I'm missing, only to come away still feeling like, "Eh, it's okay, but I don't get why people seem to love it so much."  I JUST DON'T GET IT!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 09, 2012, 10:48:35 AM
I can see that line of thinking working, almost where, in a journey that long, there are gonna be ups and downs, and enjoying them all is part of the journey.  I get it.  But like you said, it is soooooo long (kind of like SB's Snow) that listening to the whole thing almost takes setting part of your day aside, and who has time for that? :lol  But my beef is that too many musical sections are reprised too many times.  I can deal with the length, but it's almost like Neal wrote so many lyrics to tell his long story, and instead of writing that much music, he wrote a bunch and then just decided to use tons of reprises to get out of writing as much music as he did lyrics.  Typing that almost sounds goofy, as Neal is such a prolific writer than it is hard to imagine that he would have had a shortage of musical ideas to fill up even a double album, but I am just saying, that is how it sometimes comes across to me.  I get that it helps with the musical continuity, but after a while, it's like, did we really need to hear that musical theme again?

In the case of T2, I agree that is more of a regular album, almost like snapshots of stuff he didn't fully touch on on the first Testimony album, but it is still his best overall album, IMO.  For me, many of the best solo songs he has written are on T2, and there are no weaker songs or spots at all.

Look at it this way - the musical reprises provide a sort of continuity to the story. Does anyone blame Dream Theater for using the "Regression" musical progression again in "The Spirit Carries On"? Sure it's a SMALLER reprise, and not as frequent, but SFAM was a single disc album.

I think, as a biographical album of Neal's life, the musical reprises show us that they are things that are consistent through HIS life, and are constant, and they show that his life isn't a singular linear journey in a new direction, but rather a bunch of circles and turns that sometimes return to various points in his life, be it places, or people, or things, and perhaps those musical themes are representative of those recurrences. I mean, if you have a job, you go to work everyday. If you wrote a concept album about your job, you'd probably write a "Clock-in theme", a "lunch-hour theme", a "here comes that hot co-worker theme", and use them in reprises.

I think, for Teastimony, it CAN get a little tedious, but it IS a 2-hour album, so there's bound to be a lot of repetition. Had albums like The Wall or Tommy or The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway been over 120 minutes, you can be they would've had more musical reprises than they already did.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 09, 2012, 01:50:48 PM
But those artists were smart enough to keep those albums at the lengths they are at and not overdo it. ;) :P
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 09, 2012, 02:04:37 PM
But those artists were smart enough to keep those albums at the lengths they are at and not overdo it. ;) :P

Depends on who you are and who you say that to - I've heard plenty of Pink Floyd and Genesis fans say that their respective double-disc concept albums were bloated with filler  ;)

I do think Testimony could've trimmed a bit, but I cannot listen to One unless it's the complete, restored track listing with the 3 Bonus Disc tracks inserted into the story (which I have burned on CD-r for car-use, and then an iPod/iTunes playlist). It makes for a DAMN good 92:28 minute album, but I can understand why Neal wouldn't want to release another 2-disc album so soon. I'm just glad he chose to include it on the Bonus Disc!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 09, 2012, 02:07:35 PM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 09, 2012, 02:14:33 PM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on February 10, 2012, 04:45:49 AM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.

Nice! I don't like Lifeline, so I don't have that one, and I haven't been able to find the SMPTE and Bridge bonus disc versions, but I've got the rest too. Nice collection though.

How about the limited rerelease of The Light?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 10, 2012, 08:10:14 AM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.

Nice! I don't like Lifeline, so I don't have that one, and I haven't been able to find the SMPTE and Bridge bonus disc versions, but I've got the rest too. Nice collection though.

How about the limited rerelease of The Light?

The large version? No, not yet, but I do have that version of The Flower King. The collector's version of The Light is on my list of to-buy things. I also have the 4-disc book-case version of Transatlantic's Live In Europe, The Flower King's Meet The Flower Kings and Instant Delivery.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on February 10, 2012, 08:41:24 AM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.

Nice! I don't like Lifeline, so I don't have that one, and I haven't been able to find the SMPTE and Bridge bonus disc versions, but I've got the rest too. Nice collection though.

How about the limited rerelease of The Light?

The large version? No, not yet, but I do have that version of The Flower King. The collector's version of The Light is on my list of to-buy things. I also have the 4-disc book-case version of Transatlantic's Live In Europe, The Flower King's Meet The Flower Kings and Instant Delivery.

-Marc.

I've got all three of those too! I don't have The Flower King, wasn't really into TFK before, at least not enough to spend lots of cash on their studio albums, but those live boxes are great.

Oh and TA's Whirld Tour deluxe version?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 10, 2012, 08:46:02 AM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.

Yes, I know.  Eventually, I am going to have to pick up some of those.  One is probably the one I want the most.  And given that it is probably my all-time favorite album by anyone, it makes no sense that I don't have the Special Edition.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Jamesman42 on February 10, 2012, 09:02:52 AM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.

Yes, I know.  Eventually, I am going to have to pick up some of those.  One is probably the one I want the most.  And given that it is probably my all-time favorite album by anyone, it makes no sense that I don't have the Special Edition.

Oh man. The 3 extra tracks add so much to it. I listened to One so many times that at first it was weird inserting the 3 tracks into the list (I believe there is a certain order to insert them), but it makes the album even better. They are great standalone tracks, much like any song from that album. That's one reason why it's my favorite NM album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 10, 2012, 09:53:55 AM
Having watched the first DVD of the T2 LA show, it was definitely great stuff.  I loved seeing all of The Separated Man performed, the Sola medley was nice (even though it ended right at the climax of The Conclusion), Seeds of Gold was pretty sweet for the most part, and even Lifeline was a nice opener.  The inclusion of Leviathan is still a major WTH, however.  Not a bad song, but Neal has dozens and dozens of better songs that would have been far better choices.  But almost everything else was great.

Also, if Randy George is correct in that they will do a one-off in the summer and a full-blown tour in the fall, it opens up the question of what will they play to record for another likely live DVD.  Assuming Portnoy is a part of it, and that he has a huge hand in picking the songs, you gotta figure they will go for mostly songs that weren't on this last DVD set or the first Testimony DVD set.  Assuming all or most of the new CD Neal will be releasing later this year, I'd like to also see:

-A 20-25 minute ? medley.
-So Many Roads (this song has finally really grown on me)
-The Creation or Author of Confusion
-A handful of songs from both Testimony albums (which would make them repeats across multiple DVDs, but you can't ignore those two albums altogether)
-The Conflict (although who would handle those rather difficult Paul Gilbert leads at the beginning of the song)
-Maybe another short song or tune like Cradle to the Grave or King Jesus
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 10, 2012, 10:36:18 AM
As much as I love Neal, we really don't need yet another live DVD.  Kev, those are great choices, but we already have them on the Sola Scriptura and Beyond DVD (at least, most of them).  Although I am somewhat of a completist, I doubt I would buy another live DVD from a tour this year other than for a BIG chunk of new material.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: TheStinger on February 10, 2012, 10:44:07 AM
I became a fan of Neal Morse through his connection with some of the DT boys.  He is a remarkable musical arranger.  Some of his concepts might be a little out there but as a musician and a composer he is certainly right up there with the best.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 10, 2012, 12:24:32 PM
I've got all three of those too! I don't have The Flower King, wasn't really into TFK before, at least not enough to spend lots of cash on their studio albums, but those live boxes are great.

Oh and TA's Whirld Tour deluxe version?

Yeah, I've got it but it's the American/Radiant cheap-thin-cardboard case, not the European/InsideOut super-deluxe hard-cardboard case, but I plan on getting that version as well, as soon as I have the money to spare for it. Unfortunately, with all the new music coming out this year, it's looking less likely :(

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on February 11, 2012, 09:47:10 AM
I became a fan of Neal Morse through his connection with some of the DT boys.  He is a remarkable musical arranger.  Some of his concepts might be a little out there but as a musician and a composer he is certainly right up there with the best.

Agreed. :)

As much as I love Neal, we really don't need yet another live DVD.  Kev, those are great choices, but we already have them on the Sola Scriptura and Beyond DVD (at least, most of them).  Although I am somewhat of a completist, I doubt I would buy another live DVD from a tour this year other than for a BIG chunk of new material.

But that's the thing: if the new album is another major winner, won't we all want to see a live DVD with all or most of it being played?  I am guessing most Neal fans would.  Plus, as he releases more music, it has to get harder and harder to narrow a set list down, as he has so much music already.  I didn't realize how many minutes of music of his I really like listening to until a few months back when I went to make a new Neal mp3 CD for my car, following the release of T2, and realized that I couldn't fit it all on one CD (even with putting nothing from It's Not Too Late).  Not many artists have so much music I like listening to that I have to break it all up into two CDs for my car, but Neal is one of them.  And that is not even counting Spock's Beard!  I eventually did the stuff I really like from the debut through Lifeline on one CD, and then put all of the T2 stuff on the same CD as all of Transatlantic's stuff.  Made it nice and easy. :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on February 19, 2012, 01:01:24 PM
Curse you and your bonus disks!!!  >:(

I could anger you more and tell you that I have the Special/Limited Edition versions of:
Testimony (3CD)
One (2CD)
Lifeline (2CD)
Testimony 2 (2CD+DVD)
SMPT:e (2CD)
Bridge Across Forever (2CD)
The Whirlwind (2CD+DVD)

 :angel:

-Marc.

Nice! I don't like Lifeline, so I don't have that one, and I haven't been able to find the SMPTE and Bridge bonus disc versions, but I've got the rest too. Nice collection though.

How about the limited rerelease of The Light?

The large version? No, not yet, but I do have that version of The Flower King. The collector's version of The Light is on my list of to-buy things. I also have the 4-disc book-case version of Transatlantic's Live In Europe, The Flower King's Meet The Flower Kings and Instant Delivery.

-Marc.


I've got all of those versions listed above and the limited book edition of The Light (although i haven't opened it).

I've got the original version of The Flower King although I'm not a huge Flower Kings fan aside from maybe Alive On Planet Earth, Unfold the Future and Wall Street Voodoo...oh wait that's a Roine solo album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 28, 2012, 09:11:30 AM
From Neal's forum

The new issue of UK Magazine "Classic Rock Presents Prog" has not only a Flying Colors track on the free cd, but also the results of the annual Readers' Poll. Neal has numbers 3 & 4 Best DVD's for More is Never Enough and Testimony 2 Live, Number 3 best Keyboard Player (behind Jordan Rudess and Rick Wakeman) and Number 4 Prog Icon (behind Steven Wilson, Peter Gabriel and Mike Portnoy.

There's also quite a glowing review of T2 Live, and some amazing news:

In an interview with Mike Portnoy, he says that Transatlantic are trying to find space in their schedules to record in 2012. I suggest we each donate a Thursday afternoon.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on February 28, 2012, 09:15:25 AM
:caffeine:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 28, 2012, 09:25:28 AM
New Transatlantic, Neal Morse solo album, The Flower Kings, and possibly Dream Theater recording later this year. This is a great time to be a fan of these guys!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on February 28, 2012, 09:47:04 AM
 :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on February 28, 2012, 09:54:43 AM
Sounds awesome.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 28, 2012, 10:46:47 AM
New Transatlantic, Neal Morse solo album, The Flower Kings, and possibly Dream Theater recording later this year. This is a great time to be a fan of these guys!

As well as new Marillion and Spock's Beard (well, even though Neal isn't a part of them any more, his brother Al did some writing with Neal FOR the new SB record, so Neal's name may yet appear on the album's credits again!).

I think I read this news 2 weeks ago when it was posted there... I guess it slipped my mind to post it here ???

Anyways, new Transatlantic in 2013 would be awesome, along with new Dream Theater. It'll be a treat, but with ALL the great new (prog) music coming out THIS year (RUSH, Flying Colors, anything with Steven Wilson's name on it, Marillion, Spock's Beard, Neal Morse Covers album AND new Solo album as well as a third-yet-unknown-project, The Flower Kings, Hasse Froberg & the Musical Companion, and SOOOOO so many more), I think I can wait for 2013 easily!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on February 28, 2012, 11:11:59 AM
New Transatlantic, Neal Morse solo album, The Flower Kings, and possibly Dream Theater recording later this year. This is a great time to be a fan of these guys!

As well as new Marillion and Spock's Beard (well, even though Neal isn't a part of them any more, his brother Al did some writing with Neal FOR the new SB record, so Neal's name may yet appear on the album's credits again!).

I think I read this news 2 weeks ago when it was posted there... I guess it slipped my mind to post it here ???

Anyways, new Transatlantic in 2013 would be awesome, along with new Dream Theater. It'll be a treat, but with ALL the great new (prog) music coming out THIS year (RUSH, Flying Colors, anything with Steven Wilson's name on it, Marillion, Spock's Beard, Neal Morse Covers album AND new Solo album as well as a third-yet-unknown-project, The Flower Kings, Hasse Froberg & the Musical Companion, and SOOOOO so many more), I think I can wait for 2013 easily!

-Marc.

If they record early enough, the new Transatlantic album could be out in 2012. The Whirlwind was recorded in April 2009, yes? And it came out in October 2009. So if they record sometime in the next few months, it could be out before Christmas!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on February 28, 2012, 11:21:13 AM
I thought about that...then I realized: Neal is in his studio right now finishing up the new Covers album (which he plans to be out in May/June) and his new solo album (set for September release), as well as planning a third album for the year, and both Roine and Pete are in the midst of recording respective bands' new albums right now, and will likely be in their studios for the next month or two, recording/dubbing/mixing/producing/etc.etc.

And as for Mike, he's likely planning an Adrenaline Mob tour soon, right?

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on March 21, 2012, 11:48:36 AM
This is the day all your life you've looked forward
To when you'd get lucky; take life for a ride
But now that it's here it's the great disappointment
You find yourself empty and lonely inside
Like the spark that was in you was lost and quietly died

But there's a homecoming beyond the danger zone
Where you never feel alone
And tomorrow feels like home
Yes, there's a homecoming that they can't take away
Like a child gone far away
Come on home, it'll be OK

Tried tribulation at first it was nothing
Like nothing before you could turn back the tide
But now that you're older you're like the new husband
Who lifts up the veil from off of his bride
And finds she's not quite the young girl that he had in mind

But there's a homecoming beyond the danger zone
Where you never feel alone
And tomorrow feels like home
Yes, there's a homecoming when you'll admit you're wrong
When you're tired and you've lived too long
Come on home where you belong

 :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy :hefdaddy
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on March 21, 2012, 11:50:58 AM
Heh, I just arbitrarily listened to that song this morning. Well, ok... I wanted to listen to some Steve Morse without wearing out Flying Colors and the Steve Morse Band albums I have.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on March 21, 2012, 12:15:00 PM
Steve Morse's solo is definitely great, but I still can't get over how much better Neal's electric guitar playing has gotten.  It is like his playing suddenly got much better.  Or maybe he just wrote better guitar parts for himself to play.  Regardless, it is nice to see the balance back instead of the keyboards or strings dominating 90% of the time.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on March 21, 2012, 12:17:26 PM
He mentioned that touring with Roine Stolt really help him with his playing.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on March 21, 2012, 12:21:21 PM
That makes a lot of sense.  Granted, he toured with Roine back in 2000 and 2001 as well, but he was still part of Spock's Beard at the time and probably didn't think he needed to put any time in into improving his electric guitar playing.  Different from when he toured with him again in 2010.  And hey, what better way to learn and/or improve than by doing it with the best? :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on March 21, 2012, 12:25:24 PM
Here is the exact quote from the Flying Colors website:

Quote
I’m constantly challenging myself on the piano and the guitar. For example, it was a great challenge to me to play the intro to “Seeds of Gold” on the piano, and all the bits on The Whirlwind were stretching out for me as far as how much I needed to practice them and truly get them in my hands. Also, I think I’ve grown as a guitar player largely due to touring with Roine and how much feeling and expression Roine puts in his playing and how he’s always improvising. That seemed to help me on the Testimony 2 tour to stretch out a little more and have more feeling in my playing, which is really cool!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on March 21, 2012, 12:36:22 PM
Here is the exact quote from the Flying Colors website:

Quote
I’m constantly challenging myself on the piano and the guitar. For example, it was a great challenge to me to play the intro to “Seeds of Gold” on the piano, and all the bits on The Whirlwind were stretching out for me as far as how much I needed to practice them and truly get them in my hands. Also, I think I’ve grown as a guitar player largely due to touring with Roine and how much feeling and expression Roine puts in his playing and how he’s always improvising. That seemed to help me on the Testimony 2 tour to stretch out a little more and have more feeling in my playing, which is really cool!

Sweet!  That makes a lot of sense.  Thanks for posting that! :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Priest of Syrinx on April 22, 2012, 10:27:21 PM
I just got Testimony 2, what an album!   9/10 from me!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 23, 2012, 08:37:01 AM
I just got Testimony 2, what an album!   9/10 from me!

 :tup Almost a year later, but ya know, better late than never! I agree, it's a fantastic album! Definitely leaps and bounds above Lifeline, and if his writing continues to be as good as T2, then I have high hopes for Momentum in September!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on April 23, 2012, 11:20:43 AM
When I got Testimony 2 I thought it was a 9/10 or something. It has slipped down to an 8/10, but that's still good; having had the album for almost a year now.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on April 23, 2012, 11:27:08 AM
Absolute Beginner is kind of an afterthought, but everything else on T2 is fantastic.  I still think it is definitely Neal's best solo record to date.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on April 24, 2012, 09:35:07 PM
Absolute Beginner is kind of an afterthought, but everything else on T2 is fantastic.  I still think it is definitely Neal's best solo record to date.

An afterthought perhaps, but it might be the best song on that disc. That could easily have been on a Flying Colors bonus disc if there was one.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 24, 2012, 09:41:22 PM
Absolute Beginner is kind of an afterthought, but everything else on T2 is fantastic.  I still think it is definitely Neal's best solo record to date.

An afterthought perhaps, but it might be the best song on that disc. That could easily have been on a Flying Colors bonus disc if there was one.

Speaking of that bonus disc, Neal almost saved "Seeds of Gold" for the Flying Colors project/sessions, but I think Mike and/or Randy convinced him otherwise and Neal decided to record it with them instead, which is why I suppose he got Steve Morse to record that EPIC guitar solo at the end of the piece! I wonder if "Seeds of Gold" would be a choice for the Flying Colors tour set list? I mean, they'll have Mike AND Steve, and I'm pretty sure Dave LaRue could learn Randy's parts easily, and Casey could probably do a lot of the acoustic guitar parts, and with a dedicated guitarist in Steve, Neal could focus on his keyboard parts for that song. I think "Seeds of Gold" needs to be Neal's new "Stranger In Your Soul" in terms of playing an epic at his shows.

Also, the other songs on T2's bonus disc would be good choices for Flying Colors to play.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on April 26, 2012, 02:01:52 PM
I like that Neal has been so productive lately. I really feel like The Whirlwind recharged his creative juices, and I sense the new album will kick ass, coming off the high of Testimony 2.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 29, 2012, 05:06:52 PM
I like that Neal has been so productive lately. I really feel like The Whirlwind recharged his creative juices, and I sense the new album will kick ass, coming off the high of Testimony 2.

Indeed, hearing T2 after TW was a big shock, and I think he's definitely amp'ed up his game. Momentum sounds like it'll be the type of album that V and Lifeline were (one huge multi-parted epic with a bunch of shorter songs), but definitely way better than the latter (and possibly as good or better than the former). From what Mike, Randy and Neal have all said about the material, they seemed REALLY hyped to get it out there. September cannot get here soon enough!!!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ColdFireYYZ on April 29, 2012, 05:10:46 PM
I'm listening to Testimony 2 right now - can't wait until Momentum is released. There's so many great albums to look forward to this year.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on April 29, 2012, 07:19:12 PM
September cannot get here soon enough!!!

-Marc.

Well, I can wait, because I'll have the new Flower Kings album to hold me over.  ;D
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on April 29, 2012, 08:31:55 PM
September cannot get here soon enough!!!

-Marc.

Well, I can wait, because I'll have the new Flower Kings album to hold me over.  ;D

 :tup

Fair enough, September will be amazing with Neal's Momentum and Marillion's Sounds That Can't Be Made (which I've already pre-ordered). Until then, I'll have MPG's Cover 2 Cover, TFK's Banks of Eden, Rush's Clockwork Angels, and a few more.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 17, 2012, 12:23:23 PM
Got my Neal Morse Cover2Cover bundle today, with the CD and making-of DVD! Cannot wait to watch and listen!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 17, 2012, 01:10:20 PM
I wonder if "Seeds of Gold" would be a choice for the Flying Colors tour set list? I mean, they'll have Mike AND Steve, and I'm pretty sure Dave LaRue could learn Randy's parts easily, and Casey could probably do a lot of the acoustic guitar parts, and with a dedicated guitarist in Steve, Neal could focus on his keyboard parts for that song.

Possible, but I kind of doubt it.  If they are playing long enough sets that do end up including stuff beyond official Flying Colors material, I think they would try to make it be a fair representation of material from all the members' full-time band material.  Even though Steve (and Mike) played on Seeds of Gold, you are still talking about a very LONG song that would eat up a lot of set time for what is still, at the end of the day, a Neal Morse solo song. 

For set filler, I'm inclined to believe they will instead include shorter songs from each member and/or some cover songs.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 17, 2012, 02:19:46 PM
Got my Neal Morse Cover2Cover bundle today, with the CD and making-of DVD! Cannot wait to watch and listen!

-Marc.

That's out already?

Is the making-of a documentary of them recording the new album, or just the cover2cover album? or both? Give us details!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 17, 2012, 02:26:21 PM
Got my Neal Morse Cover2Cover bundle today, with the CD and making-of DVD! Cannot wait to watch and listen!

-Marc.

That's out already?

Is the making-of a documentary of them recording the new album, or just the cover2cover album? or both? Give us details!

The previews for the DVD have stated that it is a Making Of behind the songs featured on Cover 2 Cover, so the covers that were made during the "Lifeline" and "Momentum" sessions. There's only talk about the covers, and they even have some footage of them from 5 years ago during the sessions for Lifeline. It's good stuff, and the DVD runs about 45 minutes long, as they show bits of them recording the songs (sometimes they're not what ended up as the final mix/take, especially watching Mike's drum cam footage) interspersed with bits of them talking about the song choices and how they came up with them. Good stories and information!

And the street-date for the album is (technically) next Tuesday, but mine came in early! WOOHOO! Great music, and if you didn't get the special edition of Lifeline when it came out (shame on you if you didn't!), then definitely get this set, which includes those 4 cover songs featured on LL's bonus disc, as well as the previously-only-available-to-Inner-Circle-Fanclub-members track "Starless (King Crimson cover).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 28, 2012, 12:05:40 PM
Neal Morse – Momentum
“You’ve got some new Momentum… you better keep on going,” Neal Morse declares in the exciting title track of his new album. After an amazing 2011 that included the release and subsequent world tour of Testimony 2,  and the release of the 5 disc set of Testimony 2 Live in L.A., what could Neal possibly do to follow that? “That’s about where I was in January of 2012; waiting and wondering what was next. Then, Mike (Portnoy) had an open window at the end of January so I booked him and Randy (George) to come to Nashville to record. But I had no album! Then, an explosion of creativity happened that far exceeded our expectations …”

Featuring the guitar work of 6 string legend Paul Gilbert, and of course the stellar drumming of long time partner Mike Portnoy, Momentum is a musical thrill ride that will leave you breathless! Everything you’d ever want in a Neal Morse album is here; great prog elements, hooky pop choruses, intricate vocal weaving, blistering musicianship and beautiful melodies are all present and accounted for. HIGHLIGHTS: THOUGHTS PT 5, the perfect sequel to the earlier Spock’s Beard classics, WEATHERING SKY, rock/pop brilliance and WORLD WITHOUT END, clocking in at 33:51, this is the ultimate prog epic from the man who practically invented the term.

Also featured on the album is Neal’s newest find, Brazilian guitarist Adson Sodre and other members of Neal’s new live band. With its surprising directness, depth and pure prog exhilaration, Momentum is quite possibly the ultimate Neal Morse album. Mixed by Rich Mouser. Produced by Neal Morse.

***The Special Edition also includes the full, behind the scenes "Making of" dvd, which captures Neal, Mike and Randy at their best in the studio, doing what they love most, making music.***

North American release date: September 11, 2012 (Radiant/Metal Blade Records)

European release date: September 10, 2012 (InsideOut/Century Media)

Track Listing:

Momentum

Thoughts Part 5

Smoke and Mirrors

Freak

Weathering Sky

World Without End

i  Introduction

ii  Never Pass Away

iii  Losing Your Soul

iv  The Mystery

v  Some Kind Of Yesterday

vi  World Without End

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 28, 2012, 12:27:07 PM
Awesome tracklist! I see that Neal changed his Thoughts Part 3 into Part 5, mostly because he and Al had written Part 3 for the new Spock's Beard album... so where is Part 4? :lol

This is one of most anticipated albums of the year! Glad to read there will be a Special Edition with a Making-Of DVD! :tup

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 28, 2012, 12:28:13 PM
Go ahead Kev, I know there are a few parts of that press release you're dying to tear into (some good, some bad.) :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 28, 2012, 12:36:44 PM
Like saying that Neal practically invented the term "ultimate prog epic"?  Nope, I'll let that one go. :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 28, 2012, 12:42:02 PM
Oh come on! I was really looking forward to where you'd go with that!

But I figured you'd be thrilled (as I am) that Paul Gilbert is on the disc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 28, 2012, 01:04:54 PM
I believe it's also confirmed that Portnoy will be drumming with Neal's live band for the U.S. Momentum tour

Nashville, TN - October 3
Mexico City, Mexico - October 4-5
Los Angeles, CA - October 6
Seattle, WA - October 7
Denver, CO - October 9
Chicago, IL - October 12

No east coast dates as of right now

Also, new cover art. Release date September 11, 2012
(https://p.twimg.com/AtsqEZkCMAAQ7ZK.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: crazyaga on May 28, 2012, 01:48:26 PM
not my cup of tea, but his music is decent
and his preachy lyrics make me wanna vomit.
does he support gays? or one of the "homosexuality is soo wrong zomg" kind of christians?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 28, 2012, 02:44:49 PM
Track Listing:

Momentum

Thoughts Part 5

Smoke and Mirrors

Freak

Weathering Sky

World Without End

i  Introduction

ii  Never Pass Away

iii  Losing Your Soul

iv  The Mystery

v  Some Kind Of Yesterday

vi  World Without End[/i]

So I've been re-reading Randy's studio diary and there's a song titled "Lunar Creek" that isn't listed here. He documents working on all of the other songs, a total of 7, but it seems we're only getting 6. I wonder what happened to the 7th song?

Well if Neal fills out the whole CD (as he usually does), with a near 34 minute epic ending the album, we've got 5 more songs to fill out 40-44 minutes of music, which seems reasonable considering who we are dealing with here.

And I wonder how much involvement Paul Gilbert will have this go around, considering his last couple contributions have been relegated to solos and parts of songs.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 28, 2012, 08:36:32 PM
Oh come on! I was really looking forward to where you'd go with that!

Meh, just typical overstating things on a press release or whatever you want to call that.  Par for the course.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 28, 2012, 08:54:44 PM
Oh come on! I was really looking forward to where you'd go with that!

Meh, just typical overstating things on a press release or whatever you want to call that.  Par for the course.

At least it's not like any Roine Stolt-related press release.  :lol

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: SystematicThought on May 28, 2012, 09:03:56 PM
I feel like I annoy people with these Neal e-mail updates, but here's a response I got back from the man

Hi Ted,
 
Great to hear from you!! I would love to come there and give my testimony and play a few songs. Are you near any main airports? Would your school be able to pay my expenses?
 
Thanks and God bless you!!
 
Neal

I got a response back after it was looking like Neal wasn't able to do it. I just said sorry it wouldn't work out, but I am a huge fan and look forward to hearing his other work. Here was his response:

Hi Ted,
 
I am also sorry it didn't work out. It's difficult to work everything in. Oh well, God bless you and I look forward to seeing you at some point. Keep seeking God with all your heart!

 
Neal

Well, at least I have Neal's personal email address in my e-address book  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 28, 2012, 09:20:13 PM
I have his phone number. :D

But regarding the press release, yeah, typical. I get tons of them in for my radio show and it's hard not to just ignore them after awhile. Every single release is the best the band's ever done, and the most innovative thing anyone has ever seen, while still showing off the core of the band as they continue to grow...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: SystematicThought on May 28, 2012, 09:26:44 PM
I have his phone number. :D
:sadpanda:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: crazyaga on May 29, 2012, 03:23:33 AM
does he support gays? or one of the "homosexuality is soo wrong zomg" kind of christians?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Pols Voice on May 29, 2012, 03:54:59 AM
I haven't been keeping up with Neal's last few solo releases, but I'll be getting this one.

I see that Neal changed his Thoughts Part 3 into Part 5, mostly because he and Al had written Part 3 for the new Spock's Beard album... so where is Part 4? :lol


Yeah, where is Part 4, anyway? *cue twilight zone theme*
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 29, 2012, 08:20:52 AM
I haven't been keeping up with Neal's last few solo releases, but I'll be getting this one.

I see that Neal changed his Thoughts Part 3 into Part 5, mostly because he and Al had written Part 3 for the new Spock's Beard album... so where is Part 4? :lol


Yeah, where is Part 4, anyway? *cue twilight zone theme*

My girlfriend and I surmised that it was probably so Neal could let SB do a Part 4 sometime in the future, if they wanted to, which is nice. So we get "Thoughts Part 3" AND "Thoughts Part 5" this fall between Spock's Beard and Neal Morse! Fantastic! :tup

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 29, 2012, 08:50:39 AM
Well, while I like the first two Thoughts songs, they both go over board a bit with the multi-part harmonies, almost to the point of them sounding uber corny, so I can't say I am overly excited to see another song along those lines, but we'll see. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 29, 2012, 08:47:01 PM
does he support gays? or one of the "homosexuality is soo wrong zomg" kind of christians?
He's never commented on that.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 30, 2012, 09:03:35 AM
does he support gays? or one of the "homosexuality is soo wrong zomg" kind of christians?
He's never commented on that.
Not to mention that it's off-topic and rude to even ask that question, especially the way it was phrased.  Best to continue ignoring it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2012, 09:06:27 AM
Yep, and that is why I was hoping everyone else would ignore that question like I was.

Anyway, back on topic: post your top 5 songs from Testimony Two time!

1. Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise
2. Seeds of Gold
3. Mercy Street
4. The Truth Will Set You Free
5. Time Has Come Today
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 30, 2012, 09:14:01 AM
2. Streets of Gold

???

:lol

Anyway, for whatever reason, I'm still not really connecting with T2 the way I did with some of the earlier albums.  I'd still rank it at #4 behind T1, One, and Sola Scriptura.  But I think my top 5 songs from it would be, in no particular order:

Mercy Street
Time Changer
Nighttime Collectors
Road Dog Blues
Supernatural
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2012, 09:16:12 AM
Ouch, damn spelling errors.  As an official grammar and spelling nazi, I am ashamed. :facepalm: :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: crazyaga on May 30, 2012, 09:19:04 AM
sorry for being rude and all....
its just that so many religious institutions are soo anti-gay and since im gay, that made me to really hate religion.
sorry.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 30, 2012, 09:19:47 AM
official grammar and spelling nazi

Which is the only reason I took a moment out of my day to give you crap about it.  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 30, 2012, 10:00:03 AM
Anyway, for whatever reason, I'm still not really connecting with T2 the way I did with some of the earlier albums.
Same here.  I like it a lot, but I don't relate to it the way I did his earlier stuff.  But there is some definite gold on there.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 30, 2012, 10:02:29 AM
But there is some definite gold on there.

Some seeds, at the very least.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 30, 2012, 10:13:38 AM
And some streets too.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 30, 2012, 10:43:46 AM
Yep, and that is why I was hoping everyone else would ignore that question like I was.

Anyway, back on topic: post your top 5 songs from Testimony Two time!

1. Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise
2. Seeds of Gold
3. Mercy Street
4. The Truth Will Set You Free
5. Time Has Come Today

Nice top 5! Mine is similar...and in no particular order...

Seeds Of Gold
Crossing Over/Mercy Street Revisited
Time Changer
The Truth Will Set You Free
It's For You

So really, the last 17:28 of the album is just golden for me. "Truth" is just epic, and I love all the parts of "Time Changer", especially the "Spock's Beard" vocal reunion! And "Seeds Of Gold" is just as epic as Neal has ever gotten, probably one of his best epics ever, and that Steve Morse solo!!!  :hefdaddy

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2012, 12:16:02 PM
It was tough leaving It's for You out of my top 5 (I barely give Time Has Come Today the edge over it).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on May 30, 2012, 12:20:40 PM
JESUS IS MY LIFELINEEEEEE

I just realized, that the only way I could love Neal Morse more, is to have him use more keyboard patches/instruments, outside his piano/organ/80s synth lead/strings pattern.

Even though the compositions are amazing, I can't help but notice them kind of...dated. I mean, there are thousands and thousands of amazing new VSTs, sounds, and things that can add lots of color to music, and I'm sure Neal Morse can go deep into that terrain if he wanted to.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 30, 2012, 12:27:39 PM
That's an excellent point, D_L!

I'd love to see him explore with some new keyboard sounds.  I am not sure what sound it is, but there is a particular one he used to overuse that I am not always fond of.  It is used around 1:36 of Overture Number 1 from Testimony. He seems to like to feature that particular keyboard sound by itself, like he did for a very brief interlude right there, but I think that is a very dated sound.  I think it is also the loan keyboard being played during the first verse of Bomb That Can't Explode (the first part of the Whole Nother Trip suite from his first solo album).

On the bright side, I thought his lead synth sound was beginning to sound a bit stale, but he must have gotten a new one or something, because his lead synth tone sounded mostly fantastic  on both The Whirlwind and Testimony Two.  Or maybe it was just a matter of him writing and playing more interesting keyboard lines.  Either way, I agree with your point. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on May 30, 2012, 08:13:33 PM
 :D

I guess that's kind of his sound approach, for all his work is very Spock's Beard/Classic prog influenced. But nevertheless, I'd love to hear him trying new sounds, atmospheres and cool stuff and see what he can come up with. Neal Morse is a fantastic musician, and I'm glad that he's apparently starting to use VSTs (In The Whirlwind DVD, he plays with a MIDI controller operated by a laptop, if I recall correctly...)

Stack him up with Omnisphere, Reaktor and other cool instruments, and I'm gonna be a happy camper.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bobs23 on May 31, 2012, 08:05:10 AM
Yesterday, I went back and listened to the studio version of "Seeds" after listening to the live version since it came out. To me, after re-listening the studio version sounds like a demo and live has so much more emotion and feel to it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: crazyaga on May 31, 2012, 04:55:39 PM
similar album covers are similar.
(http://s009.radikal.ru/i310/1106/71/78ca44509d50.jpg)
(http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/6/1/9/3619.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on May 31, 2012, 04:59:43 PM
I recently addressed my lack of ownership of "Lifeline" and I have now listened to it once.  I'm not terribly disappointed that I skipped it, but I'll probably only listen to the longer tracks.


Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2012, 05:10:08 PM
I recently addressed my lack of ownership of "Lifeline" and I have now listened to it once.  I'm not terribly disappointed that I skipped it, but I'll probably only listen to the longer tracks.

I've recently gone back to Lifeline and have new-found appreciation for the whole album, where as I only used to enjoy the title track and "So Many Roads". The last track is still a bit "eh" as Neal has better ballads (Heck, I'd take "Heaven In My Heart" over "Fly High").

Have you listened to the bonus tracks, "Sometimes He Waits" and "Set The Kingdom"? I'd take those two over the 3 shortest tracks on the main album! For me, the top 3 tracks are still "Lifeline", "So Many Roads" and "Leviathan", with honorable mention to "Set The Kingdom".

If I made the album, this would be the track list:

"Lifeline"             - 13:28
"Sometimes He Waits"          -  5:23
"Children Of The Chosen"       -  4:55
"Set The Kingdom"          - 11:00
"Leviathan"             -  6:04
"So Many Roads"          - 28:43
"Fly High"             -  6:31

Nothing against the shorter tracks, "The Way Home", "God's Love" and "Children Of The Chosen", and in fact I like the latter, but I feel like the album might have done better the much stronger "Set The Kingdom" had been on the album instead.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on May 31, 2012, 05:17:14 PM
I completely agree with you, Marc. 

I will probably be skipping everything except "Lifeline," "Leviathan" and "So Many Roads"   But those are great, especially "Lifeline"



Haven't spun the bonus disc yet.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2012, 05:21:48 PM
Lifeline is good, though admittedly was the last solo Neal prog album I checked out. I also admit to not listening to it enough, aside from the title track. There's just so many other good albums Ive gotten that overshadow it. I'll have to make my way around to it again soon.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2012, 05:32:45 PM
Lifeline is good, though admittedly was the last solo Neal prog album I checked out. I also admit to not listening to it enough, aside from the title track. There's just so many other good albums Ive gotten that overshadow it. I'll have to make my way around to it again soon.

Definitely get Testimony 2, "Seeds Of Gold" is worth the price alone, but the main album itself is just as good, if not better than Testimony, so if you loved that album (and One), then definitely get T2.

Or, if you want more bang for your buck, get the 3CD/2DVD Live In LA album he just released of Testimony 2 Live. It's got the whole album live, "Seeds Of Gold", a couple tunes from Lifeline and One each, as well as a chunk of Sola Scriptura in medley form and "Part 5" of Testimony. Arguably one of Neal's best live albums to date, and it blows ? Live and So Many Roads out of the water.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 31, 2012, 05:37:12 PM
"Seeds Of Gold" is incredibly overrated, but the album is worth the price for the stuff on disk 1 anyway. 

I agree.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2012, 05:39:26 PM
"Seeds Of Gold" is incredibly overrated, but the album is worth the price for the stuff on disk 1 anyway. 

I agree.

Hey now...

"Seeds Of Gold" is at least better than "So Many Roads", and is his most secular(-sounding) epic since 2001, so to me, it's definitely one of his best works.

I will agree, though, most of the songs on the main album are also worth the price of the album, especially the last 18 minutes.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on May 31, 2012, 05:44:53 PM
:biggrin:

I'll take So Many Roads over Seeds, actually.  Personally, I've never really understood what people see in Seeds of Gold.  I love a lot of Neal's longer songs, but that one just isn't interesting to me at all.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on May 31, 2012, 05:45:38 PM
Yeah, me neither. The "but there's a home coming beyond the danger zone" section is very touching, but everything else is kinda meh.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2012, 05:53:40 PM
Lifeline is good, though admittedly was the last solo Neal prog album I checked out. I also admit to not listening to it enough, aside from the title track. There's just so many other good albums Ive gotten that overshadow it. I'll have to make my way around to it again soon.

Definitely get Testimony 2, "Seeds Of Gold" is worth the price alone, but the main album itself is just as good, if not better than Testimony, so if you loved that album (and One), then definitely get T2.

Or, if you want more bang for your buck, get the 3CD/2DVD Live In LA album he just released of Testimony 2 Live. It's got the whole album live, "Seeds Of Gold", a couple tunes from Lifeline and One each, as well as a chunk of Sola Scriptura in medley form and "Part 5" of Testimony. Arguably one of Neal's best live albums to date, and it blows ? Live and So Many Roads out of the water.

-Marc.

Oh I have T2, top 3 Neal album for me. I meant it was the last one that I checked out after getting the other 5 Neal solo albums. Seeds of Gold is one of Neal's best epics, up there with the TA ones, and The Door, The Creation, and ?.

Never checked out the T2 live album, maybe one day I will.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 31, 2012, 06:25:04 PM
Seeds of Gold and So Many Roads are definitely two of Neal's three best 15-minute plus solo songs, the other being The Separated Man.  I don't consider ? to be a single song.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2012, 06:28:57 PM
Seeds of Gold and So Many Roads are definitely two of Neal's three best 15-minute plus solo songs, the other being The Separated Man.  I don't consider ? to be a single song.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I only consider multi-tracked grand epics as one song if that's how the artist himself views it. So The Whirlwind, ?, Garden of Dreams, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, In The Presence of Enemies, etc are all single songs to me (just very very large ones).

Ive seen people say that AoM's The Black Forest (the album) is one song, but I believe Roine Stolt refers to it as a concept album, so that is what I view it as, as well.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2012, 06:31:14 PM
Let me correct myself, and say, if the artist considers it one PIECE of music, then I do too; not necessarily one SONG.

I cannot listen to ?, or The Whirlwind, or GoD, or SDOIT without listening to the whole thing. Starting ? at the middle of the album would just not make sense to me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on May 31, 2012, 06:37:59 PM
Eh, I think certain artists like calling long suites like that single songs just they can say, "We have a song insert a big number long." :lol 

Besides, Mike Portnoy even said on the last TA DVD that The Whirlwind can be taken as one long song or as a bunch on shorter songs that all go together, and I suspect the same would apply to the other examples you just gave.  Calling ? one song would be like calling The Who's Tommy or Floyd's The Wall one song.  We all know that it is a bunch of songs that all together to form a concept or theme, so let's just leave it at that.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2012, 06:38:49 PM
Let me correct myself, and say, if the artist considers it one PIECE of music, then I do too; not necessarily one SONG.

I cannot listen to ?, or The Whirlwind, or GoD, or SDOIT without listening to the whole thing. Starting ? at the middle of the album would just not make sense to me.

Pretty much my view, as well. I prefer "Artists' Intent" when it comes to categorizing songs/pieces. And in many cases, like the above examples, the artist does indeed consider the whole work a single piece of music, sometimes even as a single song, just indexed into smaller sections.

Sometimes, larger works are indexed into sections for easier listening (like SDOIT and TW), while others aren't indexed at all, like classic examples of "Tarkus", "Close To The Edge", or "Supper's Ready". Sometimes those longer pieces with movements that aren't individually tracked sound like they should have been, and perhaps the only reason many consider them one song/piece is because they were indexed that way, and in fact they just sounds like suites, even with full-stops and dead-silence between movements, rather than segueing or cross-fading seamlessly between movements.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on May 31, 2012, 06:52:52 PM
? is not one song in any way, shape or form.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on May 31, 2012, 07:10:00 PM
? is not one song in any way, shape or form.

At least, no any more so than "The Whirlwind" or "Garden Of Dreams".

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on May 31, 2012, 07:11:51 PM
? is not one song in any way, shape or form.

Hey ChefDaddy, meet
(http://www.iwatchstuff.com/2011/12/02/tim-eric-billion-dollar-movie-chef-goldblum.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on May 31, 2012, 07:12:39 PM
? is not one song in any way, shape or form.

What really is the difference between the The Whirlwind as a studio album and how it was presented live? Just that the studio version has arbitrary electronic cuts in it. Really at the end of the day, if tracked as one, all concept albums are just a really long cohesive song. So while it's technically not in the classic sense, I don't see any problem with somebody looking at ?, or any similar album as a song in some ways.

And also, Seeds of Gold is great, but So Many Roads is the best epic he's done solo.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on June 01, 2012, 07:52:32 AM
? is not one song in any way, shape or form.

What really is the difference between the The Whirlwind as a studio album and how it was presented live? Just that the studio version has arbitrary electronic cuts in it. Really at the end of the day, if tracked as one, all concept albums are just a really long cohesive song. So while it's technically not in the classic sense, I don't see any problem with somebody looking at ?, or any similar album as a song in some ways.

And also, Seeds of Gold is great, but So Many Roads is the best epic he's done solo.

I need more listens, but "So Many Roads" -at least initially- is more appealing to me than "Seeds of Gold" which, for some reason, I find a bit on the dull side.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on June 01, 2012, 09:44:15 AM
I love Seeds of Gold, but I assure you that it wouldn't get half the attention it gets now if Mike Portnoy would've never mentioned that Seeds of Gold was like his favorite Neal Morse epic ever.

People in his forum/twitter/facebook go all like OMG MP LIKES IT IT'S GOLD LOL.

I still take it over So Many Roads, which honestly bores me quite a bit.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 01, 2012, 10:00:59 AM
I don't think that's true, considering he pimps everything he does pretty hard.  I don't see people going nuts over Adrenaline Mob, and he talks them up non-stop. :lol

Seeds of Gold is just a great tune from start to finish.  :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on June 01, 2012, 11:43:41 AM
Eh, it's OK, but it gets a bit boring in that middle "Run baby run" section.


Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 01, 2012, 11:54:02 AM
Seeds of Gold is fantastic. It took a while to wrap my head around it as the main disc of T2 overshadowed the second disc, but once the excitement for disc 1 settled down, I realized Seeds is one of Neal's best epics. Not my favorite by a long shot, but still very good, and a lot better than So Many Roads from what I remember; but I will go back to Lifeline soon enough.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 01, 2012, 11:57:37 AM
I realized Seeds is one of Neal's best epics.

If by "best" you mean, "most recent," then I agree.  It is indeed one of Neal's "best" epics.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 01, 2012, 01:33:35 PM
I realized Seeds is one of Neal's best epics.

If by "best" you mean, "most recent," then I agree.  It is indeed one of Neal's "best" epics.

I don't know, last I checked, "best" is not a synonym for "most recent", and I think I would have realized that SOG was his most recent epic, as I bought Testimony 2 on release day. DUH.

 :biggrin: :heart

I will say, that there's at least 5 or 6 epics that top SOG; from both TA, SB and Neal's solo albums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on June 01, 2012, 01:40:04 PM
I realized Seeds is one of Neal's best epics.

If by "best" you mean, "most recent," then I agree.  It is indeed one of Neal's "best" epics.

I don't know, last I checked, "best" is not a synonym for "most recent", and I think I would have realized that SOG was his most recent epic, as I bought Testimony 2 on release day. DUH.

 :biggrin: :heart

I will say, that there's at least 5 or 6 epics that top SOG; from both TA, SB and Neal's solo albums.

Quantify epic? In my eyes, a Neal Morse "epic" is at least 20 minutes long. In that case, we've got...
"The Water"
"The Healing Colors Of Sound"
"The Great Nothing"
"All Of The Above"
"Duel With The Devil"
"Stranger In Your Soul"
"A Whole 'Nother Trip"
"The Door"
"The Conflict"
"So Many Roads"
"Seeds Of Gold"

And the upcoming "World Without End" (a 6-part epic on his new album Momentum), which tops out at nearly 34 minutes, his longest single piece of music yet!

What a list up there, and you're right, I'd pick 4 or 5 of those over "Seeds Of Gold"! Probably the 3 TA epics and "The Great Nothing" in the Top 4, then "So Many Roads" and "Seeds Of Gold" contend for 5th.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: BlackInk on June 01, 2012, 01:44:36 PM
At first I really enjoyed Neal's music but now after some time I can't stand listening to his voice, it just sounds so boring and dull I get physically tired hearing it. Which is a bit sad since he makes okay music.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 01, 2012, 01:47:28 PM
Should the TA epics really count as Neal Morse epics? While he obviously had a heavy hand in writing those, he didn't write them by himself, unlike the SB and solo epics.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 01, 2012, 01:49:12 PM
Aside from a 20 minute cutoff being completely arbitrary, it is also wrong and leaves off some good epcis he was heavily involved in creating.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 01, 2012, 01:53:13 PM
True. You can't tell me that The Light, The Creation, The Separated Man, At the End of the Day, The Doorway, Flow, etc. aren't all epic. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 01, 2012, 02:25:10 PM
True. You can't tell me that The Light, The Creation, The Separated Man, At the End of the Day, The Doorway, Flow, etc. aren't all epic. 

Exactly.  Marc is a good lad, so I hate to bust him like that.  But you can't look at that list and tell me those aren't some classic NM epics.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on June 01, 2012, 02:28:05 PM
True. You can't tell me that The Light, The Creation, The Separated Man, At the End of the Day, The Doorway, Flow, etc. aren't all epic.

Fair enough, but I think Neal himself might consider his lengthier pieces to be his "more epic" epics.

If I included anything that was over 10 minutes long, the list would be incredible! Then, of course, there'd be the obligatory "Let's rank them"...

Either way, here's what I would consider in Neal's Epics list:
"The Light"
"Go The Way You Go"
"The Water"
"The Doorway"
"Time Has Come"
"The Good Don't Last"
"Harm's Way"
"Flow"
"Crack The Big Sky" (by 1 second, it's 9:59 long, but I think it's a bit epic)
"The Healing Colors Of Sound"
"At The End Of The Day"
"The Great Nothing"
"A Whole 'Nother Trip"
"The Creation"
"The Separated Man"
"The Door"
"The Conflict"
"The Conclusion"
"Lifeline"
"So Many Roads"
"Set The Kingdom" (pretty epic riffing!)
"Seeds Of Gold"
"All Of The Above"

I included AOTA mostly because his demo made up a large majority of the final song, where as DWTD and SIYS did include sizable contributions from the rest of Transatlantic. I also did not include Flying Colors' "Infinite Fire", despite it sounding a LOT like it was a Neal Morse demo to begin with.

I also didn't include pieces like "Help Me/The Spirit And The Flesh", or even "Author Of Confusion" and "Reunion", although the latter is pretty epic to me. I suppose, if you wanted, you could include ALL three of those. Then one might also consider if the 8 "Parts" of Testimony/Testimony 2 could be considered epics as they are all viewed as songs in a single piece of music (segued together), and many times, they do sound like they SHOULD be one piece. In that case, you have 8 more epics that you could consider adding to this list, ranging from 10:33 to 41:08.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 01, 2012, 02:33:23 PM
I don't even know if I could rank them.  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on June 01, 2012, 03:40:27 PM
I don't even know if I could rank them.  :lol

Go by tiers, I suppose, and then within each of those tiers, rank those songs. It'd be quite the undertaking, but I might take a stab at it by the end of the night...or weekend.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 01, 2012, 04:00:59 PM
Man, so many good songs listed. His epics really are the best songs from him. Don't get me wrong I love most of Neal's work, but it seems that 85% of his output are epics, if you include the Testimony 1 and 2 suites as single pieces.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on June 01, 2012, 04:03:39 PM
Just...listened to...the solo in...Upon The Door...all out of breath...  I'm just going to sit here and hug myself for a few minutes.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on June 01, 2012, 04:05:01 PM
Yeah, good solo.

BTW, I can't rank all of those WTF
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 01, 2012, 04:42:44 PM
"The Light", "All of the Above", "Stranger in your Soul" are my favorite NM epics. I much prefer the shorter songs from his solo stuff.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on June 04, 2012, 08:42:28 AM
I do think Transatlantic epics are a bit better than Neal Morse solo epics.

Duel with the Devil, Stranger in your Soul and All of the Above are all 10/10 for me. I know The Whirlwind is a song by itself, but I like treating it like an album (it's easier to digest that way), so I'm not including it in this.

I don't think that's true, considering he pimps everything he does pretty hard.  I don't see people going nuts over Adrenaline Mob, and he talks them up non-stop. :lol

Seeds of Gold is just a great tune from start to finish.  :tup :tup

And yes Kev, you're probably right. Seeds of Gold is indeed great, it's just that I can help to think of MP saying that and people on his forum going all over "It's probably gonna be a blast MP...Carpe Diem!...It's probably the best thing you've done since *insert last side-project here*

And just to stray a little bit from the epic thing, I'm deeply in love with Chance of a Lifetime. It's such an incredible tune, and very catchy too.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on June 04, 2012, 09:15:09 AM
Chance of a Lifetime is really good, but I have to admit that it is the song I listen to the least from Disc 1 of T2.  I almost never have time to listen to the whole album, or even all of Disc 1, from start to finish, so I am usually picking out songs here and there to listen to, and that is one I almost always skip past.  On another album, it might be one I listen to a lot, but on an album this good, one with so many great songs, it sort of gets lost in the shuffle.  But you know what...I think I'll throw it on my iPod now for my workout here in a bit. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on June 04, 2012, 10:58:11 AM
Listening to Testimony 2 right now. I forgot how good Nighttime Collectors and Time Has Come Today is. One of the most rockin songs Neal has put out.

Chance Of A Lifetime was, along with Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise, my favorite song when T2 first came out. But every song on the album is outstanding, and one of his strongest albums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on June 13, 2012, 05:14:54 PM
As far as Neal epics go (including Transatlantic), I think Seeds of Gold is probably my least favorite.  To me, it sounds the most generic and uninspired (disc 1 of T2 is amongst my favorite Neal stuff, though, I just never listen to disc 2).  So Many Roads, on the other hand, is probably my favorite song ever.  So I don't get the general "meh" reaction to it, but hey, my opinion is usually not a popular one.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on June 13, 2012, 06:11:09 PM
Chance of a Lifetime is really good, but I have to admit that it is the song I listen to the least from Disc 1 of T2.  I almost never have time to listen to the whole album, or even all of Disc 1, from start to finish, so I am usually picking out songs here and there to listen to, and that is one I almost always skip past.  On another album, it might be one I listen to a lot, but on an album this good, one with so many great songs, it sort of gets lost in the shuffle.  But you know what...I think I'll throw it on my iPod now for my workout here in a bit. :)
id rather stay in hear wit da pain i no x 8
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on July 15, 2012, 08:12:06 PM
Im pretty pumped for new Neal Morse album!  :metal  a 33 minute long epic sounds about right  :biggrin:

(i didnt see it anywhere here so : http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/396-momentum-special-edition.aspx )

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on July 15, 2012, 08:26:24 PM
YES. I love the behind the scenes with these guys, and Transatlantic. The Flower Kings' new album had some in-studio footage too.

Neal did it for Testimony 2, which was great, though you could tell Portnoy was still in the dumps from his recent departure from DT during a couple interview moments.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on July 16, 2012, 03:03:09 AM
BTW: Thoughts part 5?


I know of part one and two.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on July 16, 2012, 09:39:31 AM
This was either discussed here or on the Spock's Beard thread, but part 3 is going to be on the new Spock's Beard album.

The only thing that is unclear is what is the fate of part 4?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on July 16, 2012, 10:38:24 AM
There was a youtube interview with Randy George (possibly in this video:  http://youtu.be/K_fZSgW1H9Y )

I didn't just rewatch (so I may be wrong) but I think he said they were reserving part 4 for Spock's if they ever wanted another one.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: MetropolisWatches on July 16, 2012, 04:04:47 PM
Neal Morse is the man. Apart from Sola Scriptura, Testimony and Testimony 2- what other Neal Morse albums would yall recommend?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Implode on July 16, 2012, 04:14:54 PM
Same question from me. I'm in love with Transatlantic.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on July 16, 2012, 04:37:34 PM
Neal Morse is the man. Apart from Sola Scriptura, Testimony and Testimony 2- what other Neal Morse albums would yall recommend?

One is my personal favorite (followed closely by Sola Scriptura).  ? is very popular among fans, but I personally rank it fairly low by Neal standards.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on July 16, 2012, 05:12:50 PM
One is a definate must, I'd get that next (special edition if possible, but regular edition is still da bomb).  My personal favorite is probably Testimony 2, which you already have.  Lifeline is another good one, the song So Many Roads (29 minutes long!) is hands down my favorite song of all time.  I'm hoping the long epic on his new album will rival it.

I see the tracklist has already been posted, but now we have song lengths:

Momentum - Tracklist:

 01. Momentum (6:25)
 02. Thoughts Part 5 (7:51)
 03. Smoke And Mirrors (4:38)
 04. Weathering Sky (4:15)
 05. Freak (4:29)
 06. World Without End (33:39)
       - I: Introduction
       - II: Never Pass Away
       - III: Losing Your Soul
       - IV: The Mystery
       - V: Some Kind Of Yesterday
       - VI: World Without End

Total playing time: 61:17 minutes
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on July 16, 2012, 05:32:29 PM
Momentum - Tracklist:

 01. Momentum (6:25)
 02. Thoughts Part 5 (7:51)
 03. Smoke And Mirrors (4:38)
 04. Weathering Sky (4:15)
 05. Freak (4:29)
 06. World Without End (33:39)
       - I: Introduction
       - II: Never Pass Away
       - III: Losing Your Soul
       - IV: The Mystery
       - V: Some Kind Of Yesterday
       - VI: World Without End

Total playing time: 61:17 minutes

Looks like the closing epic got 12 seconds shorter! I wonder what Neal and the guys cut out :lol

This is a relatively SHORT album by Neal's standards. He usually likes to fill the album, but then again he went into this one with few songs demoed and not a lot of time to write/re-write with Mike and Randy. Who knew Neal's new solo album would end up being shorter than the new Rush album! :rollin

I guess both Roine and Neal have the itch to present LESS this year (TFK's latest album is their shortest, at under 60 minutes for the main album, about 75 minutes including bonus tracks). I hope this means they're saving up the longer stuff for TA4! :metal

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on July 16, 2012, 06:01:40 PM
I think Lifeline (the main disc) was under 70 minutes as well.  And Momentum will be roughly the same length as Spock's Beard "V", so I got no worries.  If it's 60 minutes with no sub par or filler songs (Leviathan, anyone?), then we'll be in for a treat.  Just kidding about Leviathan, but it is probably my least favorite song Neal has done. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Pols Voice on July 16, 2012, 10:37:36 PM
61 minutes is a good length.

Anybody else love The Separated Man as much as I do? It's absolutely amazing, and the ending gives me chills.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on July 17, 2012, 08:15:06 PM
The Separated Man is awesome!!!! 

On another Neal note, I started my countdown to Momentum today.  Each week I'll have an album of the week leading up to the new album.  This week is Spock's Beard "V".  The remaining weeks will be for: Snow, Testimony, One, ?, Sola, Lifeline, Testimony 2.

I'd like to say that I haven't looked forward to a new Neal album this badly before, but I'm sure I was looking forward to Testimony 2 at least as much, if not more.

A new press release on Neal's site describes the songs a bit:

"Momentum" features five exceptional stand alone songs and one longer conceptual piece. In addition to the accessible title track, there's the quirkily clever, Gentle Giant-inspired "Thoughts Part 5," which follows in the footsteps of the previous "Thoughts" tracks penned by Morse with Spocks Beard. "Smoke and Mirrors" trods an introspective, acoustic path, while "Weathering Sky" offers a raucous cry for deliverance and renewal from a searching soul. Rounding out the shorter tracks is "Freak," an upbeat, strings-charged song unlike anything Neal has recorded to date. Last comes "World Without End," a near 34-minute, six-part epic that contains everything that defines Morse as a master of the genre.

http://www.nealmorse.com/

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Bongasti on July 26, 2012, 04:36:20 AM
A music video for a new song "Momentum" was just uploaded on Neal's YouTube page! http://youtu.be/lH7RBTDd4Yg

The song is pretty typical short song by him, nothing special I think. Paul Gilbert solo was very nice though!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on July 26, 2012, 09:27:00 AM
Pretty good song.  Not sure what to think of that video.  Neal hamming it up as usual. :lol :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on July 26, 2012, 10:31:40 AM
Pretty good song.  Not sure what to think of that video.  Neal hamming it up as usual. :lol :lol

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Those shades are weird, and being all in the face in the camera like that really isn't very becoming of Neal, I don't think.

Good song though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Mladen on July 26, 2012, 11:37:26 AM
I'm going to make Momentum my first Neal Morse solo album. I'm a huge fan of his work in Spock's beard and Transatlantic, also loved Flying colors, but I never had the time to pay some attention to his solo career. The new album obviously won't be the best place to start, but it's gonna be popular and people are gonna talk about it, so I might as well give it a whirl for the sake of being in touch with what's going on.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on July 26, 2012, 02:12:05 PM
I found the song a little underwhelming. It kind of gave me a similar vibe to Lifeline, but not as interesting.

I do love how when Randy shows up in the video, he's just kinda chillin'.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on July 26, 2012, 02:13:29 PM
Oh and, crashed God's partayay.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on July 29, 2012, 02:59:58 PM
Exclusive interview with Neal Morse, from progshine.com

http://progshine.com/entrevistas/exclusive-interview-with-neal-morse-by-diego-camargo/ (http://progshine.com/entrevistas/exclusive-interview-with-neal-morse-by-diego-camargo/)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: AMindBesideItself on July 30, 2012, 08:51:13 PM
Love Neal. I'm not a Christian, but I like how he relates his songs to universal themes rather just quoting Bible verses or something.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on July 30, 2012, 09:02:13 PM
The video for the new song was switched to private... :/
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Hayden on August 02, 2012, 10:47:15 AM
It's back up now; I just watched it then. Definitely not his best work, not by a long way. It is a good song, however, without too many flaws. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a tiny bit underwhelming and lackluster, though. Oh well, maybe it will sound better in the context of the album.

But, while the song isn't too bad, I really wish he didn't do the video. Or, at least didn't do it the way it was done. If it was simply video of in-studio performances, that would've been fine; in fact, that would've been great. But, the way it is, it's kind of embarrassing.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ColdFireYYZ on August 02, 2012, 11:13:37 AM
The song was okay but the video was pretty embarrassing. It says "single edit" so I'm hoping that they edited out an instrumental section or something.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Priest of Syrinx on August 02, 2012, 11:48:08 AM
The song was okay but the video was pretty embarrassing. It says "single edit" so I'm hoping that they edited out an instrumental section or something.

+1

Really, the video looks like Neal inserted himself into outtakes from a Rebecca Black video, or something.  Cringe-worthy.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 02, 2012, 12:16:56 PM
It's back up now; I just watched it then. Definitely not his best work, not by a long way. It is a good song, however, without too many flaws. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a tiny bit underwhelming and lackluster, though. Oh well, maybe it will sound better in the context of the album.

But, while the song isn't too bad, I really wish he didn't do the video. Or, at least didn't do it the way it was done. If it was simply video of in-studio performances, that would've been fine; in fact, that would've been great. But, the way it is, it's kind of embarrassing.

Agreed all-around.  Neal has the tendency to come off as a bit too hokey at times, and that is on full display in that video.  But hey, that's who he is, so there ya go. :biggrin:

And the song is pretty good, but nothing special.  I hope this isn't another Lifeline, with a great epic and then a bunch of shorter songs that range from okay to just good.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: rumborak on August 03, 2012, 01:48:21 PM
I just chanced on that song because it was mentioned on mp.com. I dunno folks, but I find his musical crank-turning almost laughable at this point. Same chord progressions, same drummer, same keyboard patches etc. etc.

rumborak
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on August 03, 2012, 01:53:07 PM
It's back up now; I just watched it then. Definitely not his best work, not by a long way. It is a good song, however, without too many flaws. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a tiny bit underwhelming and lackluster, though. Oh well, maybe it will sound better in the context of the album.

But, while the song isn't too bad, I really wish he didn't do the video. Or, at least didn't do it the way it was done. If it was simply video of in-studio performances, that would've been fine; in fact, that would've been great. But, the way it is, it's kind of embarrassing.

Agreed all-around.  Neal has the tendency to come off as a bit too hokey at times, and that is on full display in that video.  But hey, that's who he is, so there ya go. :biggrin:

And the song is pretty good, but nothing special.  I hope this isn't another Lifeline, with a great epic and then a bunch of shorter songs that range from okay to just good.


I've seen a couple of reviews posted already and they're all comparing to....


Lifeline

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 03, 2012, 02:17:11 PM
I get the sense they mean that in regards to format: an album full of songs unrelated to each other (as opposed to the conceptual nature of most of his solo albums), one giant epic and then almost all shorter songs. 

rumborak, I get what you mean; Momentum is definitely "Neal Morse by the numbers."  But considering how small his niche audience has gotten, I can't blame him for sticking to what he does best.  Gotta keep his hardcore fans happy to keep the money flowing in, especially since this is how he earns a living.  He definitely has sort of become the "AC/DC of symphonic prog rock," to say the least.  You pretty much know what you are getting from him every time out, for the most part.  I was almost air drumming to the song halfway through it the FIRST time I heard it, for God's sake! :lol :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on August 07, 2012, 03:19:48 PM
"Momentum" Pre sales have begun... as of midnight last night!!

http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/396-momentum.aspx


got mine then  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on August 07, 2012, 03:37:17 PM
"Momentum" Pre sales have begun... as of midnight last night!!

http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/396-momentum.aspx


got mine then  :metal

Ordered mine at 12:05am EST last night! I hope I am one of the chosen 100 to get a signed copy!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on August 07, 2012, 04:00:32 PM
12:08 here :( HOPE I GET PICKED
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 07, 2012, 08:32:08 PM
I couldn't care less about getting a signed copy and will probably order my copy of the CD the week it comes out. :biggrin: :coolio
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on August 07, 2012, 08:54:36 PM
Pre-ordered from Radiant today....  Was going to wait and order a cheaper way, but got sucked into the chance of getting a signed copy (but won't be disappointed when I don't get it).

Not sure I agree regarding Neal sounding too samey...  First time I heard Sola Scriptura I was blown away, and it sounded nothing like what I thought it would.  When I compare to other bands I love (Dream Theater, Redemption, etc.) they aren't "groundbreaking" with new releases either usually...  My exception with Neal is Seeds Of Gold from disc 2 of Testimony 2.  I thought that song sounded kind of blah and uninspired compared to Neal's other epics.

I'm predicting the new album will sound closer to "V" than "Lifeline", but of course different in it's own way.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on August 11, 2012, 07:19:33 AM
Oh, so some people were wondering about how Momentum is a single-edit. Well, Neal performed the song before, so this is what the full version is like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MEoVA6EiN0). Another guitar solo and  piano cool-down section.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on August 11, 2012, 09:47:31 AM
I don't have physical copies of all the Neal prog albums yet, and I've held off ordering them all so I can get them from my local record store so I can support them. I've been waiting for a long time for my local shop to stock some Neal albums on their shelves. They've had Testimony 2 since it came out, and Sola Scriptura for the longest time, as well as the Cover to Cover albums, which I don't care for.. One guy I talked to said they were finally getting some new stuff in soon. I go there the other day, and what did they add? "Lifeline" and "Neal Morse"  :facepalm:

I picked up Lifeline anyway, since I didn't have the physical copy of it, but still...
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 11, 2012, 12:26:22 PM
Oh, so some people were wondering about how Momentum is a single-edit. Well, Neal performed the song before, so this is what the full version is like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MEoVA6EiN0). Another guitar solo and  piano cool-down section.

Randy George really needs to calm down when performing on stage. :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on August 13, 2012, 08:46:26 AM
Oh, so some people were wondering about how Momentum is a single-edit. Well, Neal performed the song before, so this is what the full version is like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MEoVA6EiN0). Another guitar solo and  piano cool-down section.

Randy George really needs to calm down when performing on stage. :lol

:lol  Can't wait to get this, but I refuse to order anything through Radiant's site unless forced to.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ColdFireYYZ on August 21, 2012, 12:51:45 PM
Thoughts Part 5 Studio Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7A8wwduI6U

I'm only a couple of minutes in and I really like it but its kind of strange that he decided to release this as a solo song. As great as Neal, Mike, and Randy are, I'd rather hear the original Spock's Beard lineup play this. Still a good song though.

Edit: Song just ended and it was excellent! Much better than Momentum (even though that live version was way better than the single). Can't wait for the album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on August 21, 2012, 12:56:39 PM
 :eek   :hefdaddy   :eek
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on August 21, 2012, 01:04:09 PM
I really only like most of the Neal songs that are centered around those multi-part harmonies (like the first two Thoughts), and sometimes I don't care much for them at all (Gibberish), so I am not sure about this one.  After one listen, there wasn't one memorable melody in there, and Neal's melodies usually grab you by the throat immediately.  But time will tell...

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Pols Voice on August 21, 2012, 01:05:00 PM
The part from 3:01 to 4:32 is ace.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on August 22, 2012, 09:11:49 PM
Kind of a strange release for a single, but I LOVE it!!! (singles from albums tend to be my least fav from the albums anyway)

Listened a few times, liked it more with each listen as each time I picked up on more musical complexity or simple awesomeness!  Not sure if I like this or Momentum better, each song is great in their own way.  In the end I probably would lean towards this one simply because of the longer length (that's what she said) and musical complexity.

I can't wait to get my hands on this album!!!  Ordered the special edition from Radiant, hopefully it comes as early as possible. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: yeshaberto on August 22, 2012, 10:11:34 PM
hmmm....I liked both songs, but thoughts seems like it will have longer stay power than the momentum for me
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on September 08, 2012, 06:14:04 PM
Anyone else receive Momentum yet?  (received mine yesterday, ordered through Radiant)  First five songs are pretty good, really varying in style....

But to me the first five songs are irrelevant when compared to the epic 33.5 minute monster at the end!  I was skeptical as to how I'd rank it amongst Neal's other epics (including Transatlantic epics).  But after just a couple listens I am pretty sure it will be amongst the top. 

This album is a home run.  When Testimony 2 came out, I was actually thinking Neal hit his peak and it simply had to go downhill from there.  But I was likely wrong.  Time will tell how this album stands amongst Neal's others, but it's looking good so far.  Lyrically, not very "ecclesiastically bludgeoning", but still very moving if you choose to interpret the lyrics from a Christian perspective.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on September 10, 2012, 11:43:57 AM
I love Neal but between this song (Weathering Sky) and Momentum, this is sounding a little genericy and samey. I hope the rest is better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJyI5tIDDbc
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 10, 2012, 12:59:34 PM
Agreed.  All three songs I have heard thus far have been okay, but nothing that knocked my socks off.  I suspect the epic will be tremendous, but this is why I feared this would be another Lifeline (great epic, rather average everywhere else).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 10, 2012, 01:42:42 PM
I only heard the title track and Thoughts Part 5, the former was alright, kinda standard Morse short song; the latter was fantastic, so I'm hoping it gets better from there. I agree that I anticipate the epic to be at least awesome. Picking this up later today.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 10, 2012, 07:13:10 PM
I picked up Momentum this afternoon and gave it one full listen. My first impression is mixed, the first 2 tracks I had heard once or twice on YouTube, but sounded a lot better on the album, Thoughts Part 5 kicks a lot of ass, it's so heavy! The remaining songs need to grow on me, especially the epic, which I'm not surprised. It's pretty long, and not much stuck out, but I'm sure repeated listens will pay off, as all Neal albums do.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on September 10, 2012, 08:52:06 PM
I just can't stop loving the epic song....  Neal has a way of his music doing more talking than even lyrics can do.  Kind of like from Testimony, "The Storm Before the Calm" is a powerful song through it's instrumental passages.  I get that same feeling (yet even more powerful) at parts of the new epic. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 11, 2012, 08:49:06 AM
So... no Amazon MP3 for Neal? That's odd.

Maybe he got mad that Amazon put "Seeds of Gold" up as a 99 cent stand-alone download last time around.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 11, 2012, 09:31:34 AM
I noticed that, too.  It's not at iTunes either.  So much for getting this today.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 11, 2012, 09:36:05 AM
I noticed that, too.  It's not at iTunes either.  So much for getting this today.

Momentum Hi-Red Audio Downloads in AIFF format are HERE! (http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/412-momentum-hires-audio-download.aspx)

Didn't anyone else get the email? :lol

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 11, 2012, 10:02:37 AM
::snip::

Sorry for the double post.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 11, 2012, 10:05:29 AM
I noticed that, too.  It's not at iTunes either.  So much for getting this today.

Momentum Hi-Red Audio Downloads in AIFF format are HERE! (http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/412-momentum-hires-audio-download.aspx)

Didn't anyone else get the email? :lol

-Marc.

Ugh, no thanks. If I wanted to bay $12 for a high-res rip of the album, I'd just buy the physical CD for almost the same price and rip it myself. And anyway, what am I going to do with a 600 MB digital download? I'm not taking ten albums off of my MP3 player so I can make room for the audiophile version of Momentum, which was probably recorded with all digital instruments anyway.

Lots of artists have specials where you can get a $4 to $7 digital download of an album the first couple days it is out. I love that, because it encourages me to check out lots of material I wouldn't otherwise, and makes affording an album or two a month possible by sacrificing something as simple as a fast-food lunch. It's also pretty bad when Bob Dylan, a 71 year old notorious for draining his fans of every cent they'll give him, has his album out on amazon MP3 for $5 before the "fan-oriented" guys who do "progressive" music. I guess the gears of the Neal Morse price-guage machine just keep on churning...  ;D

I really do want to be a Neal Morse fan. But he just makes it so expensive and inconvenient  :yeahright
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 11, 2012, 10:07:20 AM
I think it's Radiant Records, not Neal himself. New Transatlantic and Neal Morse solo albums seem to be more expensive than new Flower Kings, The Tangent, Beardfish, and the like, who are on Inside Out. Even Spock's Beard who are on Music Theories Recordings.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 11, 2012, 10:32:22 AM
I think it's Radiant Records, not Neal himself.

Um, Neal and his wife ultimately run Radiant Records, if I am not mistaken. :lol

And I agree with PC.  I'd also love to support Neal by buying from his site, but he always charges an arm and a leg, and I have had several bad experiences with a new CD taking forever to get to me, so I don't buy from them anymore.  Is there a way to get myself off of their email list? ;)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 11, 2012, 11:45:45 AM
Radiant Records is just a bit ridiculous, is all. They kinda remind me of Manga Carta, except more expensive. I mean, who honestly spent $15.99 + s/h for Cover "2" Cover? Anyone?

Considering the amount of discussion I've seen about it here, I'm going with "not many people".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 11, 2012, 11:55:35 AM
I watched the special edition DVD and I must say, it contained a lot of interesting information. I already knew, but Randy George and Mike Portnoy contributed many ideas to Momentum, as Neal only had a little bit of music written before the recording sessions. There is even a slightly candid moment during the film where we hear Portnoy discussing how some songs should be omitted from the album: Freak, and another song. That other song didn't make it thanks to Mike's input, but Neal wanted Freak to stay on the album very much.

Mike also worked like an editor for some of the songs, which is not necessarily anything new with both Transatlantic or Dream Theater; but he had an incredibly large say in what went on in the music of Momentum, which is not usual, as Neal usually has most of the music written before recording sessions. Neal even admits that a lot of parts were cut out of the music, which is the opposite of what usually happens with his music. It shows you how much influence Mike Portnoy had on how the album was presented.


I think it's Radiant Records, not Neal himself.

Um, Neal and his wife ultimately run Radiant Records, if I am not mistaken. :lol


Oh, I didn't know that. Then, never mind.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 11, 2012, 12:07:13 PM
*shrug*


I paid the $11.99 for the download, burned a CD for my car and converted it to MP3 for my iPod.




It's really kind of amazing how devalued music has become in the stealing digital age.....
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 11, 2012, 12:20:40 PM
It's not about under-valuing music. Rather, the music world is over-saturated. Artists don't put music up online for cheap just to encourage pirates to become buyers. It's also to encourage buyers-- like me-- to buy their product when they know someone else has an album just a few clicks away.

That said, I'm a guy with a pretty limited income. Why would I spend $12 getting the 6th (?) Neal Morse album released this year when I could probably get two new albums from Amazon.com's MP3 store for the same price? There's just no incentive. Don't get me wrong; I like Neal plenty. But he and Radiant are just hopelessly behind the times when it comes to getting music out there.

And yeah, I'd love to listen to Momentum, and I'd like to support Neal Morse. But Neal Morse thinks I should pay a $12 minimum just to listen to a digital copy of his album, when almost no-other artists I listen to feel the same way about their own music. I'm not a pirate, so my only choice for right now is to simply not listen.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 11, 2012, 01:13:39 PM
It's not about under-valuing music. Rather, the music world is over-saturated. Artists don't put music up online for cheap just to encourage pirates to become buyers. It's also to encourage buyers-- like me-- to buy their product when they know someone else has an album just a few clicks away.

That said, I'm a guy with a pretty limited income. Why would I spend $12 getting the 6th (?) Neal Morse album released this year when I could probably get two new albums from Amazon.com's MP3 store for the same price? There's just no incentive. Don't get me wrong; I like Neal plenty. But he and Radiant are just hopelessly behind the times when it comes to getting music out there.

And yeah, I'd love to listen to Momentum, and I'd like to support Neal Morse. But Neal Morse thinks I should pay a $12 minimum just to listen to a digital copy of his album, when almost no-other artists I listen to feel the same way about their own music. I'm not a pirate, so my only choice for right now is to simply not listen.


I'd say 75% of the digital albums I buy, which are almost always MP3 files @ 256kbps (Amazon.com, mostly) cost me $8.99 - some of them are cheaper, yeah, but most are $8.99.  Neal is charging a whopping, massive $3.00 more for a digital copy of his album which is high res.  I think Neal realizes that his average fan (who is probably closer to my age than yours) doesn't give a shit about a couple of dollars (I don't) but I know not everyone is in the same position.


With that said, I maintain that music has become massively devalued by pirating, but this is not the venue for that discussion.


Anyway, back to the CD -


First impressions:
The opening track, which is the title track, frankly, bores the shit out of me.  I'll be skipping that one every time I listen to this album.  I don't know what it is about that song, it might be that I can't get that awful video out of my head, not sure, but the song doesn't really work for me.  "Thoughts Part 5" is pretty cool, I like it.  "Smoke and Mirrors" is pretty "meh"   I think "Weathering Sky" is pretty decent.  "Freak" is....OK I guess.    I've been through the epic once so far.


Overall, my first impression is it's fairly typical Neal Morse stuff, and it definitely has his stamp all over it.  A lot of the same bag of tricks he's been pulling from for the last half a dozen albums or so.  My gut tells me this one was maybe a little bit phoned in.  But I need more listens to give it a proper chance to grow on me. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on September 11, 2012, 01:52:38 PM
Just for clarification I emailed Radiant about the AIF download. The files are 44.1Khz/16b, and not 96/24.

Which is a shame. What's the point?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 11, 2012, 02:20:02 PM
I love how standard CD quality is "hi-res".

Edit: Not a knock on Neal in this instance as much as it is on the current musical culture.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 11, 2012, 02:27:19 PM
Compared to ___________________ <---insert typical down here -- it is "high res" if you think about it.


Amazon.com gives you 256kbps MP3 files


iTunes gives you something similar


Of course it's just a gimmick to make the $11.99 price point sound more palatable, but being a musician myself and looking at those "royalty checks"  :\  I get from my record label each quarter for sales of our album, I can't say I blame ANY musician for a little profiteering these days.  I guess you have to live it to get to the point of understanding it.  I used to feel the same way a lot of others here feel, until I got a legitimate record deal and published an album.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: unklejman on September 11, 2012, 04:04:21 PM
I would just rather pay the $3 extra dollars and have a hard copy.  I've only bought a digital download once, and that was to get a really obscure Christian song from the early nineties for nostalgic reasons that I literally could not find anywhere.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on September 11, 2012, 04:47:10 PM
Did anyone else get their pre orders from his site? or did you guys just pick them up?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 11, 2012, 06:35:34 PM
I picked mine up at my local shop. I've never done a pre-order.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Bongasti on September 11, 2012, 10:29:01 PM
I pre-ordered it from Radiant Records and it arrived yesterday. It wasn't signed though :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 12, 2012, 09:00:51 AM
I would just rather pay the $3 extra dollars and have a hard copy.  I've only bought a digital download once, and that was to get a really obscure Christian song from the early nineties for nostalgic reasons that I literally could not find anywhere.


heh, I used to be the same way, but I went all digital about three years ago and never looked back.  Now I get to buy almost twice as much music as I was previously. 


I still collect physical CDs, but only for a few select artists that are in my top 10 or 15 bands
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 12, 2012, 11:16:49 AM
Oh crap, I completely forgot about this!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 12, 2012, 11:29:00 AM
Watched the two music videos for Momentum and Weathering Skies. The latter was better...but I wasn't really hooked by either.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 12, 2012, 11:58:21 AM
Watched the two music videos for Momentum and Weathering Skies. The latter was better...but I wasn't really hooked by either.


Yeah, I'm already skipping both of those tracks.  To be honest, the only track on the album that I think I will keep listening to is the epic.


The rest of it definitely has a very phoned in feel to it.


Overall, I is disappoint


2.5 of 5 stars
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 12, 2012, 02:47:29 PM
The epic is still growing on me, it's very long. But I enjoy the title track and Thoughts part 5 very much. The rest is OK. I have to listen more, but i don't think it'll top Testimony 2, Sola Scriptura, ?, and One.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 12, 2012, 04:10:32 PM
The epic is still growing on me, it's very long. But I enjoy the title track and Thoughts part 5 very much. The rest is OK. I have to listen more, but i don't think it'll top Testimony 2, Sola Scriptura, ?, and One.

I'm with you - the first two tracks are pretty good, top-notch Neal Morse. I've also come to enjoy "Smoke And Mirrors", even though his pronunciation of "Mirrors" in the song is more like "Mears" (especially as he rhymes it with "years" and "tears" and other such sounding words). The epic IS really long, and I'm not sure if that helps or hinders it. When "Seeds Of Gold" came out, I was hooked IMMEDIATELY and it kept my attention all the way through, and this was probably Neal's first side-length epic without movements (I think, I *could* be wrong about that, but I'm pretty sure...) and so it stuck with me as a full single song all the way through.

I'm sure I'll grow to LOVE "World Without End" and after a few listens, there are some great moments and melodies that are memorable, but it still doesn't hook me like "Seeds Of Gold" did, which, to be honest, is so very unlike any other epic Neal has written before and since!

As for the other 2 tracks, they're alright. "Freak" is Neal's quirky piece, as he always seems to write one, and it's really varied throughout and has an endearing quality about it, while "Weathering Sky" is a pretty standard Neal rocker.

As a whole, the album is pretty good, a few steps up from Lifeline, but parts of it feel like a step back from Testimony 2, which felt like Neal was firing on ALL cylinders, as well as Mike and Randy. I don't know...maybe T2 just came out at the right time - after an album and tour with Transatlantic, and he was writing a lot of stuff at the time. For this album, Neal admits he didn't have a lot of material ready, so maybe it kind of shows? I think he didn't let his demos sit for long enough, and they were pulled out too soon from the prog-oven.

I suppose only time will tell how this one sits among Neal's other solo works, but as I've read elsewhere from fans, Neal does concept albums better, and while an album like this is not as full of "God"-this and "Jesus"-that, much of his work on his first 3 solo albums was KILLER compared to what we've gotten with Lifeline  and Momentum.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 12, 2012, 04:21:22 PM
He's saving up all of his good stuff for the next Transatlantic record. :metal :hat
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 12, 2012, 04:28:27 PM
He's saving up all of his good stuff for the next Transatlantic record. :metal :hat

GOD I hope so... :angel: :metal

I cannot wait until Winter, DT will go into the studio and TA may possibly announce something possibly leading towards the possibility of going into the studio... MP and PT just need to clear up their schedules and Roine and Neal are pretty much ready to go!

Anyway, TA5 is going to be a big deal next year, and might contend for AOTY for 2013 for me, especially going up against Spock's Beard and Dream Theater (among other bands).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: lonestar on September 12, 2012, 06:43:06 PM
I enjoy the title track, though it is a bit hokie. Thoughts pt5 and Smoke and Mirrors I loved, as well as the epic.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on September 12, 2012, 09:33:12 PM
I pre-ordered it from Radiant Records and it arrived yesterday. It wasn't signed though :(

What he said!  I haven't even opened mine yet.

Perhaps I'll watch the DVD this weekend.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 13, 2012, 01:21:47 PM
Only-listened-to-Momentum-a-few-times ranking time.

Sola Scriptura
?
Testimony 2
One
Momentum
Testimony
Lifeline

It's still a good album, it just hasn't gotten me as excited as when Testimony 2 came out, that one blew me away on first listen, and still does. Momentum is still growing on me, especially the epic World Without End, which I'm still wrapping my head around. I could see the album move up the ranks at least one notch for me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: wasteland on September 13, 2012, 01:32:52 PM
Only-listened-to-Momentum-a-few-times ranking time.

Sola Scriptura
?
Testimony 2
One
Momentum
Testimony
Lifeline

It's still a good album, it just hasn't gotten me as excited as when Testimony 2 came out, that one blew me away on first listen, and still does. Momentum is still growing on me, especially the epic World Without End, which I'm still wrapping my head around. I could see the album move up the ranks at least one notch for me.

This is pretty much how I feel about this release. I listened to it only once (I plan on giving the CD another spin tonight), and as far as the first impression goes, I am unimpressed. I still have to get the grand picture behind the epic, but I don't see it besting Seeds Of Gold or The Door.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on September 13, 2012, 04:07:44 PM
It's hard for me to rank Neal's albums.  "One" and "Sola" were both my ultimate favorite albums for extended periods of time.  But I listened to them SO much back in the day that rarely listen to them anymore.

Regarding the new album - it doesn't have the intense staying power that T2 had.  I think that's because it's not a concept album.  The concept albums just seem to get better and better with each listen until you have the album memorized.  The "newness" wore off quite quickly.  However, I don't mean that as negative.  Neal says in his liner notes he was not trying a new direction with this album (duh), so I didn't expect anything groundbreaking.  I would rank it somewhere in the middle of Neals albums. 

I love the new epic.  Not sure if Neal had the idea for the song and was saving the idea for Transatlantic or not (he was hoping they'd have recorded by now), but I'm glad it was done on a solo disc.  So yeah, I'm probably backwards from most people here, as I listen to the epic over and over and love it, and find myself not listening to the short songs much.  And I love "Freak."  Definately my favorite of hte short songs.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on September 13, 2012, 05:25:15 PM
ugh its the 13th and it still hasnt come in :|

Also whats with all the hate for Lifeline around here? I thought it was a solid album. probably my top 3.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 14, 2012, 05:41:42 AM
Lifeline isn't very appealing for me either, in fact, I think this new album, Momentum will join it at the very bottom of my Neal Morse album list. 


I never thought I'd say this, but maybe he should go back to serving up the more Jesus-y stuff, because it seems this album has significantly dialed back the religion and the result is not that good, I'm afraid.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 14, 2012, 06:23:19 AM
ugh its the 13th and it still hasnt come in :|

Also whats with all the hate for Lifeline around here? I thought it was a solid album. probably my top 3.

Well, I'd feel bad for you, but every time a new Neal Morse record comes out there is someone in this thread complaining about how Radiant either delivered too slowly or else screwed them over another way.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: changing_seasons on September 16, 2012, 10:30:29 AM
I would call Neal Morse a god, but he would probably not like that :)

All I can say is that Neal is to melodies/themes what John Petrucci is to guitar riffs. Once again he leaves me without any doubt whatsoever that he is my all time favorite musician. Amazing stuff.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on September 16, 2012, 11:31:21 AM
still hasnt come in :|
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 16, 2012, 11:34:03 AM
still hasnt come in :|

Neither has mine, but I can wait. Between Momentum and Marillion's Sounds That Can't Be Made, I've been checking my mail box obsessively over the last week, but no new packages. Hopefully something comes in tomorrow!

New album pre-order deliveries always have me nervous and anxious!  :eek

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 17, 2012, 01:45:21 PM
Opened my mailbox this afternoon to find two packages from Radiant Records!!!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v153/MarkyMarc/20120917150745.jpg?t=1347911033)

 :metal

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: wasteland on September 17, 2012, 01:59:59 PM
Opened my mailbox this afternoon to find two packages from Radiant Records!!!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v153/MarkyMarc/20120917150745.jpg?t=1347911033)

 :metal

-Marc.

Inner Circle... I heard about this... So, it's not a legend, is it? :lol:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 17, 2012, 02:04:07 PM
Inner Circle... I heard about this... So, it's not a legend, is it? :lol:

It's not as secretive or exclusive as you might think  :lol

It's pretty sweet, actually, and I've been a member since last November, just in time to get Neal's A Proggy Christmas album, although now he's releasing it again with REAL drums and more songs (which I can't wait for! FOUR Neal-related studio releases this year! What a treat!).

The latest DVD is a concert with Neal's new band (sans MP), and the set list is pretty good! Can't wait to watch it!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on September 18, 2012, 03:07:02 PM
Look what came in aswell!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/Scrub206/20120918_165754.jpg)

 :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 18, 2012, 03:13:13 PM
Look what came in aswell!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/Scrub206/20120918_165754.jpg)

 :metal

Awesome!!! Looks like we're two out of a hundred! o/

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 18, 2012, 03:19:10 PM
*\o
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 18, 2012, 03:29:51 PM
*\o

... :|

 :rollin

Did you get one, too, Nick???

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 19, 2012, 08:42:44 AM
Just got mine yesterday from a brick & mortar store.  I won't use Radiant's website because I've had so many issues with it in the past, and I don't really care about whether or not my copy is signed.  But I have it, which is cool!

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/bosk1/Misc/Momentum_zps729f6f53.jpg)

Only one full listen so far.  A couple of early observations:
1.  I LOVE Neal's music, and this seems a bit ridiculous to say in the case of music that is so varied and complex, but I feel that Neal is somewhat formulaic and that it has really showed on this last few solo efforts.  They're still good, but there are a lot of times when it just feels like I am listening to a rehashed version of something that was done better before.
2.  The above being said, I can say that I immediately like this album more than Lifeline and ?, and possibly better than T2.  It probably doesn't quite measure up to T1, and is not even in the same league as One and Sola Scriptura.  But still feels like a very solid album.
3.  Freak is amazing in its simplicity. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 19, 2012, 01:21:48 PM
*\o

... :|

 :rollin

Did you get one, too, Nick???

-Marc.

Nope, just one of my many interceptions around these parts.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 19, 2012, 01:49:01 PM
Just got mine yesterday from a brick & mortar store.  I won't use Radiant's website because I've had so many issues with it in the past, and I don't really care about whether or not my copy is signed.  But I have it, which is cool!

Only one full listen so far.  A couple of early observations:
1.  I LOVE Neal's music, and this seems a bit ridiculous to say in the case of music that is so varied and complex, but I feel that Neal is somewhat formulaic and that it has really showed on this last few solo efforts.  They're still good, but there are a lot of times when it just feels like I am listening to a rehashed version of something that was done better before.
2.  The above being said, I can say that I immediately like this album more than Lifeline and ?, and possibly better than T2.  It probably doesn't quite measure up to T1, and is not even in the same league as One and Sola Scriptura.  But still feels like a very solid album.
3.  Freak is amazing in its simplicity.


I know exactly what you mean about the sort of "been there done that" feel with Neal's music.  My personal opinion is part of the reason for that is he's putting out way too much stuff.


I can understand not liking "Lifeline" too much but I think "?" is the best solo album he's made and I even like the lyrics on that one quite a bit.   :eek


T1 was like an ecclesiastical bludgeoning upon my first listen, but when I went back to it after the reality of Neal's career choice kind of sunk in, I found that I really was able to enjoy that album quite a bit.  Still one of my favorites of his.


I've always been kind of "meh" on both "One" and "Sola Scriptura"


What I did today was I took the best tracks from "Lifeline" and this new one and combined them into a playlist:


01 - Lifeline
02 - Thoughts Part 5
03 - So Many Roads
04 - Leviathan
05 - World Without End






 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 19, 2012, 02:57:18 PM
I've heard that music is Neal's sole source of income, as is not the case with many of his peers.  I understand that it can be tough being a prog musician in a bad economy, and in an industry which is already heavily suffering. And I can see why he feels like he needs to put out as much material as possible.

But all of this average material is really starting to water down the "Neal Morse" brand. Momentum is pretty typical Neal retracing his old formulas, as have been the last few Neal solo albums. It's just hard to stay interested, when everyone few months Neal's got either another Neal-by-numbers solo record out, or another overpriced low-budget DVD, or a cover disc, or (like is to come) a retinkering of the same old Christmas album he released before. He's starting to put out so much mediocrity that it's hard to stay excited even when he does something genuinely cool.  And he charges fans for lots of things other bands give you as a bonus, like a disc of cover sessions and "Making Of..." DVDs.

I like Neal, and I hate to criticize him so much. But he's really lucky he's still got Transatlantic and Flying Colors, because being a Neal Morse fan is just way too demanding, and not very exciting.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 19, 2012, 03:11:43 PM
I've heard that music is Neal's sole source of income, as is not the case with many of his peers.  I understand that it can be tough being a prog musician in a bad economy, and in an industry which is already heavily suffering. And I can see why he feels like he needs to put out as much material as possible.

But all of this average material is really starting to water down the "Neal Morse" brand. Momentum is pretty typical Neal retracing his old formulas, as have been the last few Neal solo albums. It's just hard to stay interested, when everyone few months Neal's got either another Neal-by-numbers solo record out, or another overpriced low-budget DVD, or a cover disc, or (like is to come) a retinkering of the same old Christmas album he released before. He's starting to put out so much mediocrity that it's hard to stay excited even when he does something genuinely cool.  And he charges fans for lots of things other bands give you as a bonus, like a disc of cover sessions and "Making Of..." DVDs.

I like Neal, and I hate to criticize him so much. But he's really lucky he's still got Transatlantic and Flying Colors, because being a Neal Morse fan is just way too demanding, and not very exciting.

For me personally, I feel like you are going a bit too far.  But I get the general sentiment and don't disagree too much.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 19, 2012, 03:19:24 PM
Say what you will about what you (as in anyone, not pointed at Bosk or PC) will about the quality of Neal's releases, I think it's pretty easy to ascertain that he's making his living off music with how he markets his stuff and the amount of material he puts out and the way he puts it out. On one hand I find it to be good that he gets a lot of stuff out there, but on the other hand I think he can over saturate the market, and at times definitely overprices things he knows only hardcore fans will likely buy such as the recent FC making of DVD and the 2nd Transatlantic CD/DVD box set.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 19, 2012, 03:33:10 PM
Wow, I hadn't realized the prices for that DVD had already come out.

And, geez. Twenty bucks? That is double what I thought they'd charge for it.
 
See, this is exactly what I mean.  :\
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 19, 2012, 03:37:55 PM
I should also say, though, that if you read Neal's message in the liner notes about the "momentum" concept, it all fits with what we are talking about.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 19, 2012, 04:02:03 PM
Too bad he didn't include a PDF of the liner notes and artwork with the download. (like my band did) He charged more than most bands charge for digital copies of his album, but all you get are the audio files.  That's part of the reason why a lot of his fans are getting a little bit worn out.


To be honest, I'm removing Neal Morse from my "automatic buy" list based on the relative mediocrity of "Momentum" which, at least in part, includes the lack of "stuff" that comes with a digital download - a product that costs almost as much as some physical CDs.


Look, if anyone gets it, I do.  I really, really get it.  I know how tough it is to make ANY money in the music business.  But gouging isn't the answer, and that's what Neal's pricing models feel like.   Neal's pushing the envelope just a little bit too much, even for me.  And I'm someone who definitely sympathizes with the plight of relatively obscure musicians who are trying to sell their products, because I'm in the same situation, the only difference is I have a day job so I'm not dependent upon the income from the music.


Fuck, I'd be on welfare if I was  :lol


 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 19, 2012, 08:58:24 PM
Likewise, while I would love to support Neal, I would be on welfare if I bought every album produced by an artist I appreciate. So with Neal, I just wind up missing lots. It is hard for him to compete with the younger and more energized newer bands that support themselves in other ways, and only make music when they have the time and inspiration to do it (and then practically give it away).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 20, 2012, 04:38:35 AM
The thing with Neal, though, is you can almost step in to any point in his release cycle, buy his latest thing and you'll pretty much hear all of the same stuff he's been doing since the last time you bought something from him.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 20, 2012, 09:15:26 AM
Likewise, while I would love to support Neal, I would be on welfare if I bought every album produced by an artist I appreciate. So with Neal, I just wind up missing lots. It is hard for him to compete with the younger and more energized newer bands that support themselves in other ways, and only make music when they have the time and inspiration to do it (and then practically give it away).

Like Devin Townsend, for example?  Seriously, the amount of music that guy gives us is insane, but it is usually pretty different from the last record (compare Deconstruction to Ghost to Epicloud), and he has no problem with fans trying his music out for free online before buying it; he has said that before.  In fact, just the other day, he tweeted this:

Quote
HA! Got a copyright infringement warning from YouTube for posting my own shit... AWESOME!!!! Suck it! =]

And then this last night:

Quote
Youtube is pulling lots of my own stuff for illegal content. So freaking weird. Get over yourself, money isn't everything.

 :metal :metal

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on September 20, 2012, 10:02:21 AM
Yeah, exactly. And Devin Townsend is someone who, like Neal, releases new music all the time.

There's a few key differences though:

1.) Devin Townsend doesn't charge mark up. You can "Epicloud", which also came out this week, for $8.99 as a download, $10.00 for the vanilla version, and $14.00 if you want the bonus disc. The most expensive version of "Epicloud" is still cheaper than the "Momentum" digital download.

2.) Devin's got the attitude which you just mentioned. He wants other people to hear his music, regardless of what they pay for it. His main goal is still to reach new ears and new audiences. With Neal Morse, it's the opposite. You get the idea that he gears everything toward what he thinks the die-hards will give him.

Neither approach is "wrong". People should feel free to charge what they want for their products.  But, as a fan of both, it's not hard for me to decide which I'm going with when I've got to make a choice.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: DT2003 on September 20, 2012, 10:11:02 AM
I love Neal's music (absolutely nothing mediocre about it to me) and I love what Neal is about so I will continue to support him with everything he does.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nekov on September 20, 2012, 12:49:14 PM
Just finished my first listen of momentum. I like it so far but I believe I'll like it even more with further listens. Just to cut it a bit I put (?) on since it had been a long time since the last time I heard it. Still my favorite Neal Morse album, it's just so good
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 26, 2012, 09:03:50 AM
This album is REALLY growing on me.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 09:07:14 AM
This album is REALLY growing on me.

Ditto. I've been giving it regular spins over the last week and the songs just keep getting better. The first three are all great, and the epic is amazing, as Neal's epics usually are. "Weathering Sky" is good for what it is, another DFN-kind of song, or maybe more like "All On A Sunday", and "Freak" is just freaky, and unique, and just something a bit more original-sounding for Neal.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 26, 2012, 09:14:13 AM
The epic definitely has some cool moments, but isn't really gelling for me as a whole.  That may change, but I've felt that way about the longer epics on the previous two albums as well.  Again, definitely some cool moments, but the point I think he is making in the song has been made much better, both musically and lyrically, in other songs, so it just doesn't feel like a particularly strong, coherent piece to me.  At the other end of the album, the only other immediate turnoff was the title song.  It just felt too much like a rehash of Lifeline, due in part to the VERY Lifeline-esque beginning.  But having gotten past that part, it's a pretty good song that definitely stands on its own.  But its the other songs in between those two that are really all just clicking for me.  I really am starting to like them all quite a bit.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 10:13:48 AM
The epic definitely has some cool moments, but isn't really gelling for me as a whole.  That may change, but I've felt that way about the longer epics on the previous two albums as well.  Again, definitely some cool moments, but the point I think he is making in the song has been made much better, both musically and lyrically, in other songs, so it just doesn't feel like a particularly strong, coherent piece to me.  At the other end of the album, the only other immediate turnoff was the title song.  It just felt too much like a rehash of Lifeline, due in part to the VERY Lifeline-esque beginning.  But having gotten past that part, it's a pretty good song that definitely stands on its own.  But its the other songs in between those two that are really all just clicking for me.  I really am starting to like them all quite a bit.

I sort of got the "Lifeline" vibe from "Momentum", but without the slow middle-section that Neal and co. decided to cut, it definitely allows it to stand out a bit more from "Lifeline". Having heard that cut section on the DVD, I'm really REALLY glad that they cut that part out - it would've been too predictable and even more like "Lifeline"!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 11:20:59 AM
The epic definitely has some cool moments, but isn't really gelling for me as a whole.  That may change, but I've felt that way about the longer epics on the previous two albums as well.  Again, definitely some cool moments, but the point I think he is making in the song has been made much better, both musically and lyrically, in other songs, so it just doesn't feel like a particularly strong, coherent piece to me.  At the other end of the album, the only other immediate turnoff was the title song.  It just felt too much like a rehash of Lifeline, due in part to the VERY Lifeline-esque beginning.  But having gotten past that part, it's a pretty good song that definitely stands on its own.  But its the other songs in between those two that are really all just clicking for me.  I really am starting to like them all quite a bit.


heh, the epic is really the only song I decided to keep on my iPod, already deleted the others as they really REALLY bore me.    Other than "Lifeline" and his first two pop records, this is my least favorite NM solo album.  I really am starting to get burned out on his music, I think.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 26, 2012, 11:35:48 AM
Not sure whether or not this will have any impact on you, but the turning point for me was watching the accompanying making-of DVD.  Even feeling that Neal's music had become formulaic and a bit predictable, there is still ALWAYS a lot to take in and digest.  The DVD helped me quickly pick up on a lot of the nuance and complexity that really makes the album more unique than it sounded on the first couple of listens and helped me more quickly appreciate the songs.  And that is a good thing because I probably wouldn't have given the album the chance for that to have happened just through more active repeat listens.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 11:51:28 AM
Not sure whether or not this will have any impact on you, but the turning point for me was watching the accompanying making-of DVD.  Even feeling that Neal's music had become formulaic and a bit predictable, there is still ALWAYS a lot to take in and digest.  The DVD helped me quickly pick up on a lot of the nuance and complexity that really makes the album more unique than it sounded on the first couple of listens and helped me more quickly appreciate the songs.  And that is a good thing because I probably wouldn't have given the album the chance for that to have happened just through more active repeat listens.

Precisely my feelings. The Making-Of DVDs for Momentum, Testimony 2, and The Whirlwind (and even Flying Colors) gave me a LOT more insight, and thus, appreciation into the music on those albums. Neal has a great way of explaining his music and his thoughts (pun intended), allowing me to look and listen to the music in a way that I would have otherwise never done. It's also great that Neal has released Making-Of videos for Testimony and One through his Inner Circle Fan Club subscription service, as they are also great looks into the making of those two amazing albums of his. I'd KILL for Making-Of DVDs for ? and Sola Scriptura, though.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 11:59:50 AM
I just bought the digital download, those DVDs rarely have any impact on whether or not I enjoy a given piece of music. 


It's cool, I like Neal and all, but he's way too prolific and it's starting to show a bit, I think.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 12:03:28 PM
I just bought the digital download, those DVDs rarely have any impact on whether or not I enjoy a given piece of music. 


It's cool, I like Neal and all, but he's way too prolific and it's starting to show a bit, I think.

I think 2012 just had a lot of saturation in terms of Neal releases - Flying Colors, Cover 2 Cover, Momentum... had Flying Colors come out LAST YEAR, instead of over a year after the album was recorded, this year might not have seemed to filled with Neal stuff. Also, Neal has been touring with two different bands this year as well, so he's been pretty busy, and then there's the possibility of Transatlantic entering the studio near year's end, so Neal's been on a roll.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 26, 2012, 12:06:24 PM
Momentum is pretty cool. It's basically equivalent to lifeline in my book. Wouldn't listen to it endlessly but it's not bad.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 12:32:01 PM
I just bought the digital download, those DVDs rarely have any impact on whether or not I enjoy a given piece of music. 


It's cool, I like Neal and all, but he's way too prolific and it's starting to show a bit, I think.

I think 2012 just had a lot of saturation in terms of Neal releases - Flying Colors, Cover 2 Cover, Momentum... had Flying Colors come out LAST YEAR, instead of over a year after the album was recorded, this year might not have seemed to filled with Neal stuff. Also, Neal has been touring with two different bands this year as well, so he's been pretty busy, and then there's the possibility of Transatlantic entering the studio near year's end, so Neal's been on a roll.

-Marc.


The problem for me isn't even really one of not liking his music.  I appreciate the music, but I think the problem is what you wrote here - too much stuff out there in the market by Neal and what happens -at least for me- is I get kind of bored with it after a while.


Dream Theater releases an album every couple of years and really you almost never know what you're going to get, they do have a certain sound and style, but a lot of their albums sound quite a bit different from the previous one.  Neal, on the other hand, his music has a little bit of a "samey" thing happening with it.  I hear quite a few recycled riffs and melodies in his songs, and even lyrical phrases are starting to repeat themselves.....

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 26, 2012, 12:33:02 PM
World Without End vs. Seeds of Gold, guys?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 12:33:18 PM
With all of that said, though, I still very much appreciate me some Neal Morse.  And I'm definitely looking forward to more Transatlantic


I guess you could say I'm a Glutton For Punishment


is that a nugget?  :P
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 12:34:02 PM
World Without End vs. Seeds of Gold, guys?


I think I prefer "World Without End" actually.


Solid tune  :hat
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 26, 2012, 12:39:04 PM
What's funny is that the final line of WWE (it'll never pass a-waaaaaaaaaaay) leading into the solo sounds straight out of Dancing with Eternal Glory ("after all the storm will pass you by" -> solo).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 26, 2012, 12:42:20 PM
The "samey" aspect of Neal's style, combined with how prolific he is, definitely makes a lot of music have that "been there, done that" feeling to it.  I finally got the new CD, and while it is good, it definitely strikes me as being pretty similar to Lifeline from a quality standpoint: good overall, but so many other CDs that are much better, and all pretty much in the same vein, I am not sure how much I will play this.  Smoke and Mirrors is probably the one song that sounds new and fresh, making it the one song that is likely to stick with me the longest.  The epic is good, but again, he has so many epics now that why dedicate 33 minutes to listening to World Without End when I can listen to far better epics like Seeds of Gold, The Creation, The Separated Man, etc.?

But I haven't been in a symphonic prog rock mood lately, so maybe this will grow on me a lot more when I listen to it once I get back in that musical mood.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 12:46:20 PM
I hear quite a few recycled riffs and melodies in his songs, and even lyrical phrases are starting to repeat themselves.....

I'll tell you, I've been hearing recycled melodies/riffs/phrases since One!!! They've been everywhere in his albums since then, I'd hear a bit of SB, a bit from Neal's first two solo albums, a bit from other Neal's earlier solo albums in his later ones.

It just happens...a lot, and since the release of ?, I've come to expect similarities in his albums, and often find it fun to try and point them out, like a game! You know that moment when you hear a melody and are stumped - "Where have I heard that before?!", then you go and listen to nearly EVERYTHING Neal has done in the past, just to try and find out where that melody is from.

One example I had was when I was first listening to the ? album, and "Outside Looking In" came on, and I thought..."I've heard this before". Turns out that opening guitar line is nearly the same guitar line in "Something Blue" from his 2nd solo album!

As for SOG VS WWE, I'd have to give it to SOG, but WWE is quickly growing on me. It's got some great parts, and I'm glad Mike talked Neal out of opening the epic with a piano intro, a la "The Doorway" and "Seeds Of Gold".

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 26, 2012, 12:50:42 PM
I am sure I am not the only one who was like :omg: when Neal said on the T2 Making-Of that he tries to do something different on every album and not repeat himself.  I love his music, but let's be serious. :lol :lol

Given that he is a solo artist and isn't "tied down" to working with specific band members, I'd love to see him mix it up by working on his next solo album with all musicians he has never worked with before.  Mike Portnoy and Randy George always do a great job with their playing and writing suggestions, but I gotta think that that contributes a bit to the samey feel his work has.  Let him work with all different writers and players and he might spit out something more fresh.  Just my thought.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 01:01:58 PM
I am sure I am not the only one who was like :omg: when Neal said on the T2 Making-Of that he tries to do something different on every album and not repeat himself.  I love his music, but let's be serious. :lol :lol

Given that he is a solo artist and isn't "tied down" to working with specific band members, I'd love to see him mix it up by working on his next solo album with all musicians he has never worked with before.  Mike Portnoy and Randy George always do a great job with their playing and writing suggestions, but I gotta think that that contributes a bit to the samey feel his work has.  Let him work with all different writers and players and he might spit out something more fresh.  Just my thought.

I feel like Flying Colors (the band and album) offered him that output, to work in an environment where he wasn't the lead writer/vocalist/player/etc. etc. He's also been playing live with a new band, and in fact, in the last 4 years alone, he's played with essentially 5 different live bands - his old European Tour band, Transatlantic, The Testimony 2 Tour band (which is almost like his old Testimony 1 Tour band), his new solo tour band, and Flying Colors. So he's had a lot of different people to play with (although in more than half of those instances, his drummer has been Mike Portnoy).

I do agree, though, that it'd be nice to hear him with some more players in the studio, but he's got a great working relationship with Mike and Randy, and I'd like to think of them as a whole band now, and not just Neal with 2 guest artists that happen to keep appearing on his solo albums. I also like the fact that Neal included two of his new bandmates on Momentum, as well as Paul Gilbert!


And just a heads up, for anyone interested, after I finish my Genesis Survivor, I will start a Neal Morse Survivor a few weeks after that (after some short DT-Related Survivors), so anyone who wants to participate should gear up for that! I'll be including ALL of Neal's solo studio releases, from Neal Morse and It's Not Too Late, all the way up to Momentum - 9 albums total, 118 songs... it'll be a long one!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 01:15:56 PM
I am sure I am not the only one who was like :omg: when Neal said on the T2 Making-Of that he tries to do something different on every album and not repeat himself.  I love his music, but let's be serious. :lol :lol

Given that he is a solo artist and isn't "tied down" to working with specific band members, I'd love to see him mix it up by working on his next solo album with all musicians he has never worked with before.  Mike Portnoy and Randy George always do a great job with their playing and writing suggestions, but I gotta think that that contributes a bit to the samey feel his work has.  Let him work with all different writers and players and he might spit out something more fresh.  Just my thought.


 :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 01:17:40 PM
I hear quite a few recycled riffs and melodies in his songs, and even lyrical phrases are starting to repeat themselves.....



It just happens...a lot, and since the release of ?,

-Marc.


I would love it if Neal would go another album of that caliber.  That is still my favorite solo album of his, head and shoulders above the rest of them.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 01:34:43 PM
Of note, I'm just glad Neal has done away with the predictable Spanish-guitar section of his songs, which, AFAIK and IIRC, he hasn't done since Sola Scriptura. He even did it on his first solo album in "A Whole 'Nother Trip - C) The Man Who Would Be King"! Seems like that's a Neal Morse-ism he's out-grown.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on September 26, 2012, 01:38:40 PM
I agree that was a worn out device. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 26, 2012, 01:46:21 PM
You know that moment when you hear a melody and are stumped - "Where have I heard that before?!", then you go and listen to nearly EVERYTHING Neal has done in the past, just to try and find out where that melody is from.

Um...actually, no, I don't know that moment.  :lol  Can't say I've ever done that.

Of note, I'm just glad Neal has done away with the predictable Spanish-guitar section of his songs, which, AFAIK and IIRC, he hasn't done since Sola Scriptura. He even did it on his first solo album in "A Whole 'Nother Trip - C) The Man Who Would Be King"! Seems like that's a Neal Morse-ism he's out-grown.

-Marc.

I really liked those sections on Testimony and Sola.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 26, 2012, 02:02:59 PM
I really liked those sections on Testimony and Sola.


Oh me too, don't get me wrong, but it started to seem too predictable. Like, when listening to a new Neal Morse album, I'd go "Okay, when's the Spanish-Guitar part coming up?!" :rollin

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on September 26, 2012, 08:11:37 PM
Well, the idea of "momentum" isn't about changing directions...  Maybe his next feat will be different.  Personally, I was blindsided by Sola Scriptura, that album totally took me off guard in a good way.  I think if he feels led in another direction, he has the capability of doing something amazing.  For this album, I don't think he necessarily felt inclined to put effort into doing something drastically different.

That said (and I've probably already mentioned here), Momentum to me is another Lifeline.  Not meaning that in a bad way, it's an album with an awesome long epic that I can listen to over and over and probably never get sick of.  And some shorter songs that aren't that important to me.  While as full albums they aren't amongst my favorites, So Many Roads and World Without End are probably my two favorite songs of all time.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 27, 2012, 09:17:53 AM
I remember on the Making-of DVD that Neal mentioned that he was on the fence about moving his music in a new direction, but when he was inspired to write Momentum, he said something like he had to keep going and just keep writing. Maybe he'll move in a new direction next album. I hope he does because it's one reason I don't get the couple of Neal-era SB albums I'm missing, or his first 2 solo albums because it's just too much of the same.

In regards to the new album, and the epic in particular, it's grown on me as well, and the epic is amazing. After 7 or 8 listens all the parts started to come together and I actually get excited to throw WWE on now. That middle heavy riff section is really cool. There are a lot of new things going on in that song that are kind of new for Neal, so I'll give him that.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on September 27, 2012, 07:54:41 PM
It definitely feels like the epic's of the last two have been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the songs - I wonder why.

In any case, I look forward to a change in style if he decides to.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 27, 2012, 10:01:05 PM
It definitely feels like the epic's of the last two have been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the songs - I wonder why.

In any case, I look forward to a change in style if he decides to.

We may have to wait until 2015 to find out anyway. If plans go as predicted, Transatlantic will go into the studio sometime this winter or spring of next year, release a studio album in the late summer or fall of 2013, then tour through the fall/winter or winter/spring. After all of that, Neal may want to take some time to rest, and subsequently not record again until winter of 2014, for a 2015 release. I mean, we did wait 3 years between Lifeline and Testimony 2 when a Transatlantic album and tour came between them, so I think we can expect a similar time between Momentum and Neal's 10th solo studio album.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 28, 2012, 10:28:21 AM
It definitely feels like the epic's of the last two have been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the songs - I wonder why.

I would disagree about that in regards to Testimony 2. I always enjoyed the main disc more than Seeds.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 28, 2012, 10:29:51 AM
I loved Seeds, but the epic on the new album isn't nearly as good as the other tracks.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 28, 2012, 10:36:44 AM
It definitely feels like the epic's of the last two have been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the songs - I wonder why.

I would disagree about that in regards to Testimony 2. I always enjoyed the main disc more than Seeds.

Well, comparing nearly 80 minutes of music to 26 seems a bit unfair, but I'll say that the first T2 disc is absolutely flawless, and, as great as Seeds of Gold is, Crossing Over/Mercy Street Reprise is still the best individual song from either T2 disc. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on September 28, 2012, 10:39:19 AM
Oh sorry, I forgot about T2 - I was talking Lifeline and Momentum, I didn't really listen to T2 (T1 never grabbed me). Even so, T2 is different because it's a continuation of previous works that are structurally different.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 28, 2012, 12:50:26 PM
T2 is way different than T1.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 28, 2012, 12:59:57 PM
T2 is way different than T1.

And about 5 times better.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on September 28, 2012, 01:12:35 PM
T2 is way different than T1.

^This.

T2 is way different than T1.

And about 5 times better.

^Not this.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 28, 2012, 01:20:53 PM
Sorry, Bosk is right, T2 is 10 times better.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 28, 2012, 01:23:16 PM
Sorry, Bosk is right, T2 is 10 times better.

Psh. I just listened to T1 again, on my various drives around town over the last few days, and it's a pretty great album. It still holds up against all of Neal's works over the last 10 years and I'd say it's still one of his best works.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 28, 2012, 01:25:10 PM
Sorry, Bosk is right, T2 is 10 times better.

Psh. I just listened to T1 again, on my various drives around town over the last few days, and it's a pretty great album. It still holds up against all of Neal's works over the last 10 years and I'd say it's still one of his best works.

-Marc.

I'll tell ya what, it's definitely one of his best 9 albums.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on September 28, 2012, 01:48:06 PM
T1 is really good, but suffers from:

a) being way too long
b) not having a real bass guitar player (this was before Randy George started working with him)
c) pretty pedestrian electric guitar playing (Neal has gotten much better over the years since that record)
d) being way too long (it needed repeating, unlike many of the themes on the actual record)

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 28, 2012, 02:26:02 PM
T2 is 1000x better than T1. If T1 was condensed into one disc, it might be about equal; there ARE great moments on T1, but it's too bloated. T2 gets the job done in one disc, and has overall better material IMO.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 28, 2012, 03:16:21 PM
Uhhh T1 blows all of Neal's other stuff (including Spock's stuff) clean out of the water. One is the only one that comes close.
 
EDIT: OK, it's understandable how a person might not like T1 due to the length. But if you break up the listening experience into chunks, it's much more palatable and full of great music.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 28, 2012, 03:24:40 PM
Uhhh T1 blows all of Neal's other stuff (including Spock's stuff) clean out of the water. One is the only one that comes close.
 

LOLnuggetz o/

EDIT: OK, it's understandable how a person might not like T1 due to the length. But if you break up the listening experience into chunks, it's much more palatable and full of great music.

True, listening it in the car during my commutes over a couple of days really helped the album stand out a bit more, rather than listening to it all in one sitting, which can be a bit tedious, I'll admit, especially being a fan who loves double albums.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 28, 2012, 03:25:45 PM
*\o
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: j on September 28, 2012, 05:05:04 PM
H and M, help me--your brother in the clan of single-letter DTF usernames--appreciate T1.  It is my least favorite thing by Neal Morse I have heard, from any of his projects (granted I have not heard T2 or this newest solo album, and I have probably missed some other stuff too).  The album just doesn't have anything that grabs me or sticks with me, although I've only listened to it twice.

-J
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 28, 2012, 05:10:50 PM
H and M, help me--your brother in the clan of single-letter DTF usernames--appreciate T1.  It is my least favorite thing by Neal Morse I have heard, from any of his projects (granted I have not heard T2 or this newest solo album, and I have probably missed some other stuff too).  The album just doesn't have anything that grabs me or sticks with me, although I've only listened to it twice.

-J

What really helped me was that I watch the Testimony Live DVD set, which features Neal, Mike, Randy, and a whole band of key/guitar/wind/string players (I believe 5 in addition to Mike and Randy), performing all of the album, as well as some extra SB/TA tunes for the encores. It's a great live DVD and show and really captivates the power and energy of the album, as well as the magical moments.

As for the studio album itself, it just needs repeated listens. Try to do what I did - listen to it in chunks, either as it's 5 parts, or just whenever you aren't doing much else (on commutes, going running/jogging/exercising, or other tasks), and it'll slowly sink in.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 28, 2012, 05:19:12 PM
H and M, help me--your brother in the clan of single-letter DTF usernames--appreciate T1.  It is my least favorite thing by Neal Morse I have heard, from any of his projects (granted I have not heard T2 or this newest solo album, and I have probably missed some other stuff too).  The album just doesn't have anything that grabs me or sticks with me, although I've only listened to it twice.

-J
It is the first NM release I had heard (other than Smpte by TA), so maybe that was a contributing factor. I like it because it's not super preachy or corny like his other albums. This album was really just an autobiography of sorts, so it has a more sentimental feel to it. It's more theatrical and lyrical than musical, admittedly, but that's what I like about NM.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 28, 2012, 05:50:30 PM
I will say that I enjoy the second disc of T1 more than the first. I realize that the major factor of the album feeling bloated to me is the first disc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 28, 2012, 06:34:40 PM
H and M, help me--your brother in the clan of single-letter DTF usernames--appreciate T1.  It is my least favorite thing by Neal Morse I have heard, from any of his projects (granted I have not heard T2 or this newest solo album, and I have probably missed some other stuff too).  The album just doesn't have anything that grabs me or sticks with me, although I've only listened to it twice.

-J
It is the first NM release I had heard (other than Smpte by TA), so maybe that was a contributing factor. I like it because it's not super preachy or corny like his other albums. This album was really just an autobiography of sorts, so it has a more sentimental feel to it. It's more theatrical and lyrical than musical, admittedly, but that's what I like about NM.

Really? I feel like the entirety of Part 5 on the album is very preachy, but that doesn't mean I don't love it.

I feel like his later albums, particularly ? and Sola Scriptura, are all LESS preachy than Testimony, mostly because they're more like rock-operas with a conceptual narrative, they have stories, rather than being straight-up preachy songs, like much of Lifeline and parts of Testimony. The sequel to that album, however, is quite a bit less preachy than the first, and it seems Neal has slowly gone away from inserting "Jesus" and "God" and "the one" and "Him/He" in much of his songs. It's more or less implied, now, than it was when he started with Testimony and One...much more like his early albums with Spock's Beard. I mean, we all knew what he meant with "The Light" and "The Doorway", but he didn't explicitly say it out right. Same with some Transatlantic songs.

This is also what I really like about "Seeds Of Gold", much of the material on Momentum, and Transatlantic's The Whirlwind - the lyrics are a bit less direct and obvious, there's subtlety and open-interpretation to them. And for those of us who really know and understand Neal, we can choose to believe his interpretations, or we can come up with our own as they fit our beliefs and interests.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on September 29, 2012, 06:46:35 AM
I don't call someone who stands behind his convictions preachy. Most of his lyrics are personal. and not aimed at anyone.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on September 29, 2012, 10:41:41 AM
EDIT: OK, it's understandable how a person might not like T1 due to the length. But if you break up the listening experience into chunks, it's much more palatable and full of great music.

If i have to break up the listening of an album, it's too big and bloated. It's supposed to be a big epic long set of songs, but now I'm having to break it up to not get bored? That doesn't work.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 29, 2012, 10:58:15 AM
If i have to break up the listening of an album, it's too big and bloated.
Maybe for you, but not everyone has to listen to albums that way.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: faemir on September 29, 2012, 11:03:47 AM
The whole point of the album is that it's a long conceptual journey - breaking it up might work, but it's against the point of it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 29, 2012, 11:05:02 AM
Do you read a novel in one sitting?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on September 29, 2012, 12:46:52 PM
Do you read a novel in one sitting?

If that novel is Animal Farm, which takes about as long as a typical concept album, then yes. Otherwise your analogy is horrible.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on September 29, 2012, 12:51:36 PM
Do you read a novel in one sitting?

Albums (especially concept albums) and movies are created and meant to be appreciated in one sitting. Now, you can watch or listen to these things in chunks, but it surely takes away some of the magic. The novel analogy doesn't work because you can pause between chapters, reading a novel is like watching a TV series. You're not going to watch 6 seasons on Lost in one sitting (it would take you over 100 hours to do so anyway).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on September 29, 2012, 01:55:25 PM
Do you read a novel in one sitting?

Albums (especially concept albums) and movies are created and meant to be appreciated in one sitting. Now, you can watch or listen to these things in chunks, but it surely takes away some of the magic. The novel analogy doesn't work because you can pause between chapters, reading a novel is like watching a TV series. You're not going to watch 6 seasons on Lost in one sitting (it would take you over 100 hours to do so anyway).

Luckily, Neal Morse's Testimony and Testimony 2 albums are divided into 8 "Parts", ranging from 10-41 minutes long, which, to me, are kind of like Chapters. Being an auto-biographical concept album, each Part is sort of a Chapter in Neal's story, so if one really wanted to, they could listen to Parts 1 and 2 (Disc 1 of T1) in one sitting, pause for a time, then coming back and listen to the next 3 parts.

Comparing albums with movies is difficult, since it has always been easy to fit films into a single-piece medium - for a long time, films would be long (or short) enough to fit into one cassette or laserdisc or dvd or blu-ray. Rarely do films exceed the capacity of a single-piece format.

Albums, however, have had a long history of exceeding the given format of the time - double albums go a long way back, mostly because the format back then (vinyl), only allowed for single albums up to 40-50 minutes in length. Now, in the age of CDs, albums can be double that length and still fit into a single piece, so I think the idea that being able to listen to an album NOW in a single sitting can be a bit tedious, whether or not it's a Double CD.

I agree, films are meant to be viewed in single sittings, but I can't expect all artists to believe that for albums, especially long double albums like The Flower Kings' Unfold The Future. And now that we're in the digital age, a lot of fans only listen to music casually, on their iPods, when they typically are doing other tasks. It's not a sit-down-and-pay-full-attention ritual like fans did way back in the day when they unwrapped their vinyl's double-gatefold cover, slipped the vinyl on their turntables and turned down the lights.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on September 29, 2012, 08:57:56 PM
Do you read a novel in one sitting?

Albums (especially concept albums) are created and meant to be appreciated in one sitting.
Some are. Others aren't. T1 feels like it's one that isn't.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on September 30, 2012, 06:06:09 AM
Do you read a novel in one sitting?

Albums (especially concept albums) are created and meant to be appreciated in one sitting.
Some are. Others aren't. T1 feels like it's one that isn't.
Because it's way too fucking long.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on October 01, 2012, 10:16:12 AM
I don't think T1 has to be listened to in one sitting to really enjoy.  Disc one, yeah probably.  Disc two, yeah probably.  But they're very distinct and I think they work well apart from eachother.  Heck, in the live DVD they had intermission between the two and put on different color clothes to represent different chapters.

That said, I listen to disc 1 far more often than disc 2.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on October 01, 2012, 12:07:06 PM
^ You're right on the money. T1 doesn't have to be listened to in one sitting, and no one should expect albums to always be constructed for that.

And I listen to disc 1 more often too. :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 01, 2012, 12:20:42 PM
Eh, I think it is self-explanatory and implicit in the very idea of a concept album that it is designed to be listened to in one sitting.  But if you choose not to do so, I'm certainly not going to lose sleep over it either.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 03, 2012, 11:11:19 PM
Neal's U.S. tour started in Nashville last night, and according to a post at his forum, the set list was:

Momentum
Weathering Sky
Author of Confusion
Testimony Medley
Thoughts Pt. 5
The Conflict
Cradle to the Grave (with Wil Morse)
? Medley (The Temple, Another World, The Outsider, Sweet Elation, the end of 12 and Entrance)
World Without End
Sing it High
Reunion

Looks pretty good, although I'd like to know what was in the Testimony medley.  Given that the Testimony medley on the last tour was mostly Part 5 (IIRC), I think playing all of Part 2 would be awesome. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 05, 2012, 10:39:29 AM
Several days later, no one has still posted on Neal's board what was part of the Testimony medley. :facepalm: :facepalm:

What is the point of posting a set list if you are gonna sum it up like that?  That would be like DT playing five songs in a row from Scenes at a show, and someone posting the set list and saying, "Scenes medley."  It really doesn't say anything.

I am not a member of that forum, and I am not gonna sign up just to ask, but if any of you guys are (bosk1?), feel free to ask them what was part of that medley.  We need to know!!!! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Big Hath on October 05, 2012, 10:43:18 AM
listened to Solo Scriptura this week for the first time in quite a while.  I forgot how awesome that album is.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 05, 2012, 10:45:30 AM
Sola Scriptura took quite a while to really grow on me, but I like it a lot now.  The whole Keep Silent section from The Door is one of his best sections/songs from his entire solo career. :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Big Hath on October 05, 2012, 10:59:11 AM
the guitar solo near the end of The Door is absolutely ripping.  I'm guessing it's in the "Upon the door" section.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 05, 2012, 11:23:16 AM
the guitar solo near the end of The Door is absolutely ripping.  I'm guessing it's in the "Upon the door" section.

Yes.  My favorite solo of all time by anyone, which is saying a lot since I grew up on '80s guitar-slingers.  (Prior favorite since forever had been Alex Skolnick's solo on Return To Serenity)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: darkshade on October 05, 2012, 07:10:25 PM
Hey guys, which would you rather have on a desert island... The three Transatlantic studio albums, or Neal's three best solo albums?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on October 05, 2012, 08:05:17 PM
Hey guys, which would you rather have on a desert island... The three Transatlantic studio albums, or Neal's three best solo albums?

Transatlantic studio albums...but only if they are the special editions with the bonus discs!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: hefdaddy42 on October 06, 2012, 06:57:25 AM
Hey guys, which would you rather have on a desert island... The three Transatlantic studio albums, or Neal's three best solo albums?
Transatlantic.

Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on October 06, 2012, 10:09:48 AM
Neal Morse.  Testimony, Testimony 2, and probably One. 
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on October 06, 2012, 11:21:46 AM
TA I'd say.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Mladen on October 07, 2012, 04:09:06 AM
I've been listening to Momentum the last couple of days and it's pretty cool. Thoughts part 5 has some incredible stuff going, and I'm still digesting the epic, although it has a lot of potential as well. I still need to give it a few more spins, though.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 07, 2012, 08:04:44 AM
I'll take the three TA records on the desert island.

But what about your three favorite Neal solo records vs. your three favorite Spock's Beard records from the Neal era?

For me, that is ?, T2 and One vs. Snow, V and the Light.  I am taking Neal's solo records.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on October 07, 2012, 10:04:51 AM
I'll take the three TA records on the desert island.

But what about your three favorite Neal solo records vs. your three favorite Spock's Beard records from the Neal era?

For me, that is ?, T2 and One vs. Snow, V and the Light.  I am taking Neal's solo records.

Hmmm... interesting question you pose. For me:
Solo Morse - Testimony, One, Testimony 2 (? is a very close 4th...almost a 3b)
SB Morse - Snow, V, Beware Of Darkness

That'd be tough. I absolutely LOVE Snow, but I also really love One (the expanded tracklist). I think I might have to go with SB Morse on that one as much as I love the two Testimony albums, I really enjoy the epics of V and BOD, they are classic Neal Morse tracks and have a lot more weight to them in terms of being classics for me.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Mladen on October 07, 2012, 10:21:25 AM
Man, that chorus in Some kind of yesterday from World without end is absolutely gorgeous. This is why I fell in love with Neal's music in the first place.  :heart
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 10, 2012, 12:10:15 AM
To jump backwards a bit here in the convo, why do people bitch about it when Neal does acoustic guitar sections?  That is one of his trademarks.  It would be like telling Dream Theater, "Stop doing unisons."  Dream Theater does unisons; Neal Morse does acoustic guitar-driven instrumental sections.  I don't see the issue, especially since they are almost always awesome.  I mean, is anyone not slayed by that section in The Separated Man??
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 10, 2012, 08:34:53 AM
Taking my wife to NYC for the show tomorrow night! We have a pair of meet and greets! :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 10, 2012, 10:03:12 AM
Not sure I'd take any Neal stuff on a desert island. The way his music is structured, with all the reprises and payoffs, basically gives you the same effect as listening to a good song over and over again. The first couple times you listen, it's great. But after that, it starts to get really repetitive. It's the kind of thing that's nice now and again, but would drive me nuts on a desert island.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: kirksnosehair on October 10, 2012, 11:46:45 AM
Either way, I'd have to go with TA or Spock's Beard.  [/nothankyoureligion]



Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 11, 2012, 10:54:49 AM
I forgot to mention that Neal tweeted this on Tuesday:
Quote
Just confirmed we are shooting a DVD at the show in NYC on Thursday! Come on out and be featured in the DVD! Pray that Mike feels better too

Hopefully, it's a better shot, with better lighting and camera angles, than the shooting of last year's DVD.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 11, 2012, 11:09:34 AM
I forgot to mention that Neal tweeted this on Tuesday:
Quote
Just confirmed we are shooting a DVD at the show in NYC on Thursday! Come on out and be featured in the DVD! Pray that Mike feels better too

Hopefully, it's a better shot, with better lighting and camera angles, than the shooting of last year's DVD.
Yes! I'll be there!!!!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 11, 2012, 12:16:38 PM
I forgot to mention that Neal tweeted this on Tuesday:
Quote
Just confirmed we are shooting a DVD at the show in NYC on Thursday! Come on out and be featured in the DVD! Pray that Mike feels better too

Hopefully, it's a better shot, with better lighting and camera angles, than the shooting of last year's DVD.

This.  I did not like the T2 shoot at all.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 11, 2012, 03:36:55 PM
Yep, bobs23 did the best he could with what he had to work with, as far as editing goes and whatnot, but the lighting was poor, the camera angles sucked (that constant shot of Neal that was to his left, not only had that guy with the big green shirt in the back of the shot too often, but Neal was like way to the left of the screen instead of being centered) and, again, that guy with the big green shirt was just a background distraction every time he was on screen at all. Hopefully, the band members this time around adjust their wardrobe accordingly. :biggrin:

Either way, it will be nice to get a lot of ? and Author of Confusion on a live DVD with the current lineup. :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on October 11, 2012, 03:39:12 PM
I didn't even think anyone other than Neal even liked Author of Confusion.  :lol  But, yeah, the two things you cited may end up being the reasons for this being the first Neal live release I end up not buying.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 11, 2012, 03:44:06 PM
Say what?  You don't like it?  I think it's really, really good.  Okay, the intro does go on a bit too long, as does the outro of virtually the same thing, but this is one of the times where the multi-part harmony thing works really well, and the dreamy-like verses that kick in around 5:25 are just wonderful; that is classic Neal stuff there!  Given a bit of editing, the song could have been truly great, but it is still really, really good as is, IMO.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nick on October 11, 2012, 04:17:49 PM
Dammit. It would have sucked to pull off, but I would have gone to the show tonight had I known it was being recorded. :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ColdFireYYZ on October 11, 2012, 05:18:03 PM
I wish I could have gone to the show tonight but I just saw Rush last night.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on October 11, 2012, 07:18:30 PM
They messed up quite a bit with the conflict :(
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 12, 2012, 08:03:43 AM
I wish I could have gone to the show tonight but I just saw Rush last night.
Me too!
I did go though and all I can say is....most amazing venue, EVER! I had VIP tickets and I was seated at a small round table in front of the stage. I had dinner at the table and then the show started. The band was amazing! I have never been so close to an artist for a show like this. Can't wait till the DVD comes out!
The place was all tables. It made it intimate and unique. He had a great audience as well. You could tell the crowd was comprised of diehard fans. It will make the DVD even better.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 12, 2012, 09:22:34 AM
The set list looks good, with the ? medley, Author of Confusion, some of the new songs, The Conflict and King Jesus.

However, Crazy Horses with Portnoy on vocals?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/kevshmev/wade-phillips.jpg)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 12, 2012, 09:53:30 AM
The set list looks good, with the ? medley, Author of Confusion, some of the new songs, The Conflict and King Jesus.

However, Crazy Horses with Portnoy on vocals?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/kevshmev/wade-phillips.jpg)
That was the low point of the show. I found it embarrassing in the context of what Neal had achieved on this evening. It was out of place and too self indulgent for Mike. I would think he would be perceptive enough to understand it wasn't the right place for that.
Other than that the night was flawless in my estimations.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 12, 2012, 12:35:22 PM
Yeah, I saw the video online. MP was channeling a strong AMOB-era Russel Allen right there.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on October 12, 2012, 05:18:03 PM
I thought Crazy Horses was a fun bit, but there was a place and time for that and it certainly wasn't last night. I'm really happy they played "Sing it High" was definitely a lot of fun.

I wasn't too thrilled with the line up of backing musicians, they didnt seem to be as into it as the guys from last tour. the Sodre guy on guitar tho was absolutely INCREDIBLE. His solo in the "Two down One to go" section of The Conflict was probably the best solo played that night.

The Venue was absolute shit tho. Maybe it was because we had shit seats, but I was upset that there was no standing space. It was a little odd for a filmed dvd. The waitresses were hot tho... so that kinda made up for a shit venue  :lol

All in all it was an extremely fun night, good show, ok food, delicious scotch, shitty view of the stage. But thats ok since it was recorded for the DVD.  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ytserush on October 12, 2012, 05:27:52 PM
I wish I could have gone to the show tonight but I just saw Rush last night.
Me too!
I did go though and all I can say is....most amazing venue, EVER! I had VIP tickets and I was seated at a small round table in front of the stage. I had dinner at the table and then the show started. The band was amazing! I have never been so close to an artist for a show like this. Can't wait till the DVD comes out!
The place was all tables. It made it intimate and unique. He had a great audience as well. You could tell the crowd was comprised of diehard fans. It will make the DVD even better.

Had that very same experience (front and center no VIP, first come first served) with the Carl Palmer Band a year ago tomorrow. There's nothing like it.  The table was right against the stage.

With two Rush shows next week, this wasn't happening for me (DVD or no DVD)

 I chose Flying Colors in September and MacAlpine, Sherinian, Sheehan and Portnoy in November.

Only so much green to go around.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on October 12, 2012, 07:29:52 PM
All in all it was an extremely fun night, good show, ok food, delicious scotch, shitty view of the stage. But thats ok since it was recorded for the DVD.  :metal

I'm just imagining sitting in a shitty venue sipping scotch while watching Mike Portnoy up on stage singing Crazy Horses. Man oh man...  :lol

I'm sure it was otherwise an awesome night, though. I'm already aware of what kinda live vibes Neal can create thanks to having seen the Whirld Tour.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on October 12, 2012, 08:32:44 PM
Im sure it wouldnt have been that bad if i had a decent view of the stage  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 13, 2012, 06:31:30 AM
I thought Crazy Horses was a fun bit, but there was a place and time for that and it certainly wasn't last night. I'm really happy they played "Sing it High" was definitely a lot of fun.

I wasn't too thrilled with the line up of backing musicians, they didnt seem to be as into it as the guys from last tour. the Sodre guy on guitar tho was absolutely INCREDIBLE. His solo in the "Two down One to go" section of The Conflict was probably the best solo played that night.

The Venue was absolute shit tho. Maybe it was because we had shit seats, but I was upset that there was no standing space. It was a little odd for a filmed dvd. The waitresses were hot tho... so that kinda made up for a shit venue  :lol

All in all it was an extremely fun night, good show, ok food, delicious scotch, shitty view of the stage. But thats ok since it was recorded for the DVD.  :metal
I actually thought his band was way into it. Maybe its because they were right in front of me and I was able to see what they were doing and the looks on there faces. You thought the venue was shit? Where were you? I guess being right in front of the stage, when I turned around it seemed like every seat was good? I couldn't see how far back to top level went. I would imaging if you not up front it would have been pretty bad. I would call it the best venue I have ever been in.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on October 13, 2012, 10:34:12 AM
I was sitting on the top floor second row back. so i couldnt see shit. so i guess im basing it all off of my shitty seats. But I thought they shouldve still atleast had standing room on the floor. they shouldve done what BBkings does. tables on the side, standing in the middle.

I didnt say they were a bad group, im just saying i feel last years line up seemed to be having a bit more fun with the whole deal. Then again i was up front against the stage then  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 13, 2012, 10:46:00 AM
I was sitting on the top floor second row back. so i couldnt see shit. so i guess im basing it all off of my shitty seats. But I thought they shouldve still atleast had standing room on the floor. they shouldve done what BBkings does. tables on the side, standing in the middle.

I didnt say they were a bad group, im just saying i feel last years line up seemed to be having a bit more fun with the whole deal. Then again i was up front against the stage then  :lol
Did you try standing downstairs? It seemed every time I went to the rest room there were plenty of people to get through that were standing in the back and on the sides.

I can only imagine how bad where you were must have been. How could you possibly see from where you were?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on October 13, 2012, 11:27:37 AM
haha you thought i saw the show? good one!

Nah i did end up standing up behind my table and i could see OK. still hard to see from up there.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on October 13, 2012, 12:08:34 PM


However, Crazy Horses with Portnoy on vocals?

That was the low point of the show. I found it embarrassing in the context of what Neal had achieved on this evening. It was out of place and too self indulgent for Mike. I would think he would be perceptive enough to understand it wasn't the right place for that.
Other than that the night was flawless in my estimations.

I think Neal indulges him way too much, especially when it comes to singing and whatnot.  It's like two friends at a karaoke bar, and even though one of them knows the other really can't sing very well, he insists his friend do it, just for shits and giggles and, in their minds, a bit of fun.  Fun is good, but that song have to have stuck out like a sore thumb, and as an encore? Yikes.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on October 13, 2012, 01:15:16 PM


However, Crazy Horses with Portnoy on vocals?

That was the low point of the show. I found it embarrassing in the context of what Neal had achieved on this evening. It was out of place and too self indulgent for Mike. I would think he would be perceptive enough to understand it wasn't the right place for that.
Other than that the night was flawless in my estimations.

I think Neal indulges him way too much, especially when it comes to singing and whatnot.  It's like two friends at a karaoke bar, and even though one of them knows the other really can't sing very well, he insists his friend do it, just for shits and giggles and, in their minds, a bit of fun.  Fun is good, but that song have to have stuck out like a sore thumb, and as an encore? Yikes.
Exactly. Mike tends to have that bar band mentality a lot. It was painful to watch.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ronnibran on October 17, 2012, 03:41:41 PM
Neal Morse's new Christmas album is now available as an mp3 download from Radiant Records.  I'll probably do this to save some money ($10 as opposed to almost $20 after shipping)....
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Scrub206 on October 17, 2012, 07:29:57 PM
but the album cover is worth the 20 dollars alone!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: SystematicThought on October 21, 2012, 10:44:43 PM
The new Christmas album is really good. I love The Little Drummer Boy.

"Shall I play for you pa rum pun pum pum
....On my drum...
*drum solo*
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 01, 2012, 12:29:40 PM
but the album cover is worth the 20 dollars alone!

Funny you say this because now Sony had a fit about all the celebrities photoshopped onto the original cover so they are recalling them and only Radiant Records is able to sell the remaining stock, while new issues of the album will have a new cover, which will be released world wide later this month. You can check out the new (less-exciting) cover on the Radiant Records website.

As a side note, I got this album in the mail today! Can't wait to pump this one up and give it a spin tonight!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ColdFireYYZ on November 03, 2012, 07:10:02 PM
I finally got Momentum today. I was holding off due to the fairly lukewarm responses and my expectations for it were pretty low. I had heard  the title track (which I didn't like at first but its growing on me) and Thoughts Part 5 (loved it). After one listen, I think its a pretty good album. Sure, its pretty derivative of his older stuff and unoriginal but I still enjoyed it. Freak was a pretty cool song as were the Weathering Sky and Smoke & Mirrors. World Without End is going to take a few listens before I can really form an opinion on it though. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Mladen on November 04, 2012, 02:31:32 AM
but the album cover is worth the 20 dollars alone!
I knew it must be something ridiculous, so I checked it out and laughed my ass off, I didn't expect it's that hilarious.  :lol
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: wasteland on November 06, 2012, 07:27:43 AM
I listened to a part of The Door this morning in the bus. The last five minutes might be the best five of Neal's discography. Do you agree?  :)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: r0cken on November 06, 2012, 08:08:57 AM
pretty cool song as were the Weathering Sky and Smoke & Mirrors.
Oh yeah, these two totally got stuck in my head after a couple of spins. I really need to get back to this album, and give it a proper listen. Or two. Or ten.

Unrelated, my favorite album is "One".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on November 06, 2012, 08:55:39 AM
I listened to a part of The Door this morning in the bus. The last five minutes might be the best five of Neal's discography. Do you agree?  :)

It might be the best 5 minutes of anyone's discography.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Perpetual Change on November 06, 2012, 08:58:19 AM
Neal Morse's new Christmas album is now available as an mp3 download from Radiant Records.  I'll probably do this to save some money ($10 as opposed to almost $20 after shipping)....

Is it a new Christmas album, or a reworked version of the last one?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 06, 2012, 09:06:54 AM
Neal Morse's new Christmas album is now available as an mp3 download from Radiant Records.  I'll probably do this to save some money ($10 as opposed to almost $20 after shipping)....

Is it a new Christmas album, or a reworked version of the last one?

It's most of the songs from his Inner Circle Release last winter, but featuring 3 new songs and real instruments recorded by Mike Portnoy, Pete Trewavas, Roine Stolt, Steve Hackett, Steve Morse and many more! It's a great album and a fine addition!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ich bin besser on November 06, 2012, 09:13:01 AM
Someone posted this on Neal's forum:

Quote
When Neal released the first version of the Proggy Christmas, he was getting many e-mails, and posts on the Inner Circle forum alluding to there not being a real drummer, but having a drum machine instead.  Neal felt like he would have wanted to put real drums to it but didn't have enough time to get it out to us as scheduled.  Later, Neal decided to re-release and to polish up this release.  There are many considerable differences.  The biggest being that there are so many well known musicians playing on this release.  It includes the three other Transatlantic guys, plus Steve Morse.  I love both releases, but it's great to have Mike on the drums!  I personally love this side of Neal, ala the instrumental album side.  He's got several instrumental albums through the Inner Circle.  It's fun to just play it in the background and get some things done in the meantime.  The Shred Ride is so cool!  There were some differences in the tracklist.  Neal is a busy guy, so I don't expect him to do all of these things with his solo album, Flying Colors, writing Transatlantic material, being a family man, and then come up with a whole new list of Christmas songs.  I'm happy either way :-)  He truly is one of the most prolific songwriters I know of!

New Songs on 2012 are highlighted blue
Songs on 2011 but not on 2012 are highlighted green
Songs with no highlight are on both releases

2011 Release Tracklist:

01 – Carol Of The Bells
02 – O Holy Night
03 – The Little Drummer Boy
04 – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
05 – Home For The Holidays
06 – Shred Ride
07 – Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming
08 – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
09 – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen O Come Emmanuel
10 – The Christmas Song


2012 Release Tracklist:

01 – Joy to the World
02 – The Little Drummer Boy
03 – O Holy Night
04 – Frankincense
05 – Hark the Herald Angels Sing
06 – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
07 – Carol of the Bells
08 – Home for the Holidays
09 – Shred Ride - Sled Ride/Winter Wonderland
10 – Silent Night/We All Need Some Light
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 06, 2012, 01:06:39 PM
I listened to a part of The Door this morning in the bus. The last five minutes might be the best five of Neal's discography. Do you agree?  :)

I don't.  In fact, to me, the best part of The Door is the part right before that: the "Keep Silent" section.  But the "Upon the Door" section is pretty great, too.  :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: wasteland on November 07, 2012, 10:00:22 AM
I listened to a part of The Door this morning in the bus. The last five minutes might be the best five of Neal's discography. Do you agree?  :)

I don't.  In fact, to me, the best part of The Door is the part right before that: the "Keep Silent" section.  But the "Upon the Door" section is pretty great, too.  :tup :tup

When I first discovered Neal Morse (around the time Lifeline was being released, maybe even a little before) I read in reviews that Sola Sciptura was a step in the wrong direction from NM, feeling autoderivative and formulaic. After many years I think Sola is at least on par with the album I consider NM's best, "?".
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on November 07, 2012, 10:03:26 AM
If SS was a step in the wrong direction, I don't ever want Neal to be right.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 12, 2012, 07:56:21 PM
I wasn't a fan of it at first, but I like Thoughts Part 5 quite a bit now.  Cranking it up in the car, as opposed to listening at home, made a big difference. :tup :tup
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 12, 2012, 09:37:39 PM
I wasn't a fan of it at first, but I like Thoughts Part 5 quite a bit now.  Cranking it up in the car, as opposed to listening at home, made a big difference. :tup :tup

 :tup

Great song, although the ending kind of fizzles out. I kind of wish it was a bit of a more definite ending, but having a fizzly ending is definitely different than the other "Thoughts" songs and many Neal Morse songs in general. This album has aged well with me, more so than Lifeline, but I revisited that album a couple months ago and found it a bit better than I used to, especially the ballads. Of course, "Lifeline", "Leviathan" and "So Many Roads" will always be tops for me. I even like the 2 bonus tracks! I almost wish "Sometimes He Waits" and "Set The Kingdom" had been on the album instead of "God's Love" and "Children Of The Chosen".

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Mladen on November 13, 2012, 01:44:28 AM
Thoughts part 5 is great, my favorite song on Momentum next to the obvious choice. I love the outro, some of the riffs are killer, and what can be said about the verses. The third time the vocal harmonies kick in, with that straight drumming, that just rocks.  :metal
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: KevShmev on November 13, 2012, 10:32:14 AM
Yeah, the ending of Thoughts Part 5 is a bit strange, the way it just kind of fizzles out, but it is a bit different for Neal, so I'll take it.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on November 18, 2012, 10:49:09 AM
One of the most genius Christmas songs ever!
"Frankincense" :metal

http://vk.com/video-2704377_163704026
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on November 18, 2012, 10:58:00 AM
After listening to Momentum a few times, it's got some nice parts. But on the whole, it's nothing new as people said. Particularly World Without End. It's a carbon copy of Seeds Of Gold, which is a carbon copy of So Many Roads. It's basically Lifeline 2.0 but not as good (and Lifeline was that great to start with).
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Tick on November 18, 2012, 11:07:42 AM
After listening to Momentum a few times, it's got some nice parts. But on the whole, it's nothing new as people said. Particularly World Without End. It's a carbon copy of Seeds Of Gold, which is a carbon copy of So Many Roads. It's basically Lifeline 2.0 but not as good (and Lifeline was that great to start with).
I'm too big a fan to be objective I guess. I love Momentum!!!
Did you listen to the song I just posted?
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 18, 2012, 11:13:37 AM
After listening to Momentum a few times, it's got some nice parts. But on the whole, it's nothing new as people said. Particularly World Without End. It's a carbon copy of Seeds Of Gold, which is a carbon copy of So Many Roads. It's basically Lifeline 2.0 but not as good (and Lifeline was that great to start with).

So wait... you like Lifeline over Momentum??

I think the latter has a few more highs than the former, and not as many (if any) lows. Sure, the epic is pretty long but it's still a BIT different from it's 2 recent predecessors, and it's less like "The Great Nothing" than "So Many Roads" ties to be. "Seeds Of Gold" remains different altogether because it lacks definitive movements, and with that mindset, it sounds like a more cohesive song with smoother transitions than "World Without End" and "So Many Roads" are.

And, if I can humor myself (and everyone else):

Lifeline VS Momentum - Momentum (and I'm glad Neal cut the slow piano-solo-section from the middle to make it LESS like "Lifeline"
Leviathan VS Thoughts Part 5 - Thoughts...these are the heavy rockers of their albums, and Thoughts does it slightly better than Leviathan, although props to Leviathan for being a bit different.
So Many Roads VS World Without End - tie...WWE is a bit long, but it's got some GREAT parts and hooks, but so does SMR.
The Way Home/God's Love/Children Of The Chosen/Fly High VS Smoke And Mirrors/Weathering Sky/Freak - the Momentum tracks because they're all so different from each other, but I couldn't really recall any defining characteristics of the LL tracks, except for maybe the chorus to COTC...they're so homogeneous, but S&M is quite different from WS, and Freak is so unique with it's quirky verses with strings. I will say that I do recall liking Fly High, though...but that's about it.

Winner - Momentum

And to be honest, I was never that on-board with Lifeline to begin with... it was rather lackluster after 3 great albums like One, ? and Sola Scriptura, and with Testimony 2 coming after it, it just looked a bit worse by comparison. At least HALF of the album is pretty good-to-great (title track, Leviathan and SMR).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on November 18, 2012, 11:19:44 AM
 :lol Nice stuff!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 21, 2012, 07:23:37 PM
Neal sent out a new Inner Circle Newsletter earlier today and in it, these were the highlights:
-The Momentum Tour has been a hit, and as noted before, the NYC show was recorded for release, which will be another spectacular 5-Disc (3CD/2DVD) set coming in February of next year!
-Flying Colors will get an eventual live DVD release from their show recorded at Tilburg 013 earlier this fall, but he gives no tentative release date. I also hope we get a 2CD release of the show as well!
-Neal has made plans with Portnoy, Stolt and Trewavas to fly the Transatlantic ship once again, sometime in 2013!!! He says they have some dates picked out and he hopes they can all make them! Hopefully this means they record before or by April (just like last time), and release by October!

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. We can expect at least 3 releases from Neal next year, 1 solo live release, 1 live release with Flying Colors, and (God willing) a new Transatlantic album!!!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: r0cken on November 21, 2012, 10:16:15 PM
Oh yes, please, new Transatlantic. Great news, thank you.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on November 21, 2012, 11:00:14 PM
As an FYI, here is the set list they played at NYC Highline back on October 11th:
1. Momentum
2. Weathering Sky
3. Author Of Confusion
4. The Distance To The Sun
5. Testimony Suite
6. Thoughts Part 5
7. The Conflict
8. ? Suite
9. Fly High
10. World Without End
11. Crazy Horses
12. Sing It High
13. King Jesus

Tracks 1-7 form the first set, 8-10 the 2nd set, and 11-13 the encore. If the last live release is any indication, the first DVD will include the first set, and the 2nd DVD will include the 2nd set and encore, and I predict the 3 Discs will be as follows:
Disc 1 - Momentum-Testimony Suite
Disc 2 - Thoughts Part 5-Fly High
Disc 3 - World Without End-King Jesus
Each disc would be about an hour or so long!!

Cannot wait to pre-order this set!

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Ħ on November 25, 2012, 08:49:45 PM
Listened to Momentum again today.

Y'know, as great as Neal is...I have never been keen on his main synth lead. It just doesn't sound good. And now it's starting to sound tired.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: ColdFireYYZ on November 25, 2012, 10:27:43 PM
Listened to Momentum again today.

Y'know, as great as Neal is...I have never been keen on his main synth lead. It just doesn't sound good. And now it's starting to sound tired.
Agreed. I'd like it if he experimented with more synth sounds. He's a great keyboardist but the same sound album after album get old.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 05, 2012, 09:53:43 PM
So I'm bumping this up for TWO reasons:

If no one else had seen it yet, Neal Morse and his band (MP's attendance still in the air) will be touring Europe with The Flower Kings for a 3-and-a-half hour progstravaganza!!! Each band will get 90 minutes of set list, while the remaining hour will go to some... you guessed it, TRANSATLANTIC tunes! :metal

I really hope 2 things: Mike Portnoy CAN attend, so then 3/4ths of TA will be present for the hour or so of TA music that will be played! And that this tour gets recorded on audio and video for future release. Something that epic cannot be passed up! I'm hoping there's the inevitable Tilburg show that gets recorded/released. But with 3.5 hours of music, it would be a 3-5 CD set! I'm assuming the 270 minutes will include stage-change times, so maybe each band will more likely play about 80 minutes of music, so with clever edited, each band's set could fit onto a single CD, with the TA set going on the 3rd disc? Let's hope so!

Also, I'm bumping this thread up to let everyone know that I will be starting my Neal Morse Survivor something NEXT WEEK! And yes, I will begin with Neal's FIRST solo album, his self-titled debut. And yes, the 4-part epic at the end will be counted as ONE track in the Survivor options.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on December 06, 2012, 12:33:32 PM
So I'm bumping this up for TWO reasons:

If no one else had seen it yet, Neal Morse and his band (MP's attendance still in the air) will be touring Europe with The Flower Kings for a 3-and-a-half hour progstravaganza!!! Each band will get 90 minutes of set list, while the remaining hour will go to some... you guessed it, TRANSATLANTIC tunes! :metal

I really hope 2 things: Mike Portnoy CAN attend, so then 3/4ths of TA will be present for the hour or so of TA music that will be played! And that this tour gets recorded on audio and video for future release. Something that epic cannot be passed up! I'm hoping there's the inevitable Tilburg show that gets recorded/released. But with 3.5 hours of music, it would be a 3-5 CD set! I'm assuming the 270 minutes will include stage-change times, so maybe each band will more likely play about 80 minutes of music, so with clever edited, each band's set could fit onto a single CD, with the TA set going on the 3rd disc? Let's hope so!

Also, I'm bumping this thread up to let everyone know that I will be starting my Neal Morse Survivor something NEXT WEEK! And yes, I will begin with Neal's FIRST solo album, his self-titled debut. And yes, the 4-part epic at the end will be counted as ONE track in the Survivor options.

-Marc.


Sounds like the ideal moment to FINALLY get myself to see TFK live!
(but yes, not saying that Colin ain't good ('cause he is), it will depend on Mike performing. Missing Pete will be bad enough)
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: bosk1 on December 06, 2012, 12:37:20 PM
Wow, that is GREAT news!  Yeah, I hope that gets filmed as well.

And maybe I'm expecting too much, but I would expect that at least one show would feature surprise guest apperances by Pete and/or Daniel.  I mean, they are in Europe, after all.  It wouldn't be that hard at all, schedules permitting.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on December 06, 2012, 12:41:59 PM
Wow, that is GREAT news!  Yeah, I hope that gets filmed as well.

And maybe I'm expecting too much, but I would expect that at least one show would feature surprise guest apperances by Pete and/or Daniel.  I mean, they are in Europe, after all.  It wouldn't be that hard at all, schedules permitting.

Hoping for that too! Would be great!
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 06, 2012, 02:24:08 PM
So I'm bumping this up for TWO reasons:

If no one else had seen it yet, Neal Morse and his band (MP's attendance still in the air) will be touring Europe with The Flower Kings for a 3-and-a-half hour progstravaganza!!! Each band will get 90 minutes of set list, while the remaining hour will go to some... you guessed it, TRANSATLANTIC tunes! :metal

I really hope 2 things: Mike Portnoy CAN attend, so then 3/4ths of TA will be present for the hour or so of TA music that will be played! And that this tour gets recorded on audio and video for future release. Something that epic cannot be passed up! I'm hoping there's the inevitable Tilburg show that gets recorded/released. But with 3.5 hours of music, it would be a 3-5 CD set! I'm assuming the 270 minutes will include stage-change times, so maybe each band will more likely play about 80 minutes of music, so with clever edited, each band's set could fit onto a single CD, with the TA set going on the 3rd disc? Let's hope so!

Also, I'm bumping this thread up to let everyone know that I will be starting my Neal Morse Survivor something NEXT WEEK! And yes, I will begin with Neal's FIRST solo album, his self-titled debut. And yes, the 4-part epic at the end will be counted as ONE track in the Survivor options.

-Marc.


Sounds like the ideal moment to FINALLY get myself to see TFK live!
(but yes, not saying that Colin ain't good ('cause he is), it will depend on Mike performing. Missing Pete will be bad enough)

Colin? You mean Collin Leijenaar, Neal old Dutch band? They're not touring with Neal, and IIRC, haven't since the Lifeline Tour. Neal's current drummer, besides Mike, is Paul Simmons.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: Nihil-Morari on December 06, 2012, 03:13:31 PM

Colin? You mean Collin Leijenaar, Neal old Dutch band? They're not touring with Neal, and IIRC, haven't since the Lifeline Tour. Neal's current drummer, besides Mike, is Paul Simmons.

-Marc.

Oh really? I know he's busy with Affector, and now some other project with Kristoffer Gildenlow and the guitarist of Frost, but I always thought he did Neal's tours too.
Well apart from that, my point remains. TA with just Neal and Roine, is not really TA.
Title: Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
Post by: The Letter M on December 06, 2012, 11:25:06 PM